Human pluripotent embryonic stem cells (hESCs) have great promise for research into human developmental biology, development of cell therapies for the treatment of diseases, toxicology, and drug discovery. Traditionally, undifferentiated hESCs are maintained on mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs), which impede the clinical applications of hESCs. Here we have examined the long-term stability of the Japanese hESC line (KhES-1) in feeder-free culture. KhES-1 cells were cultured with MEF conditioned medium (CM) and different doses of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) in six-well-plates of which the surface was coated with Matrigel. KhES-1 cells were maintained for at least 40 passages. In this culture system, the cells maintained stable proliferation rates and steadily expressed Oct-4, Nanog, and alkaline phosphatase. In addition, KhES-1 cells maintained without direct feeder contact formed embryonic bodies with expression of markers from the three germ layers. Here we demonstrated that Japanese human embryonic stem cells KhES-1 were cultured long term in a feeder-free method, while retaining pluripotency in vitro.
- Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF)
- Human ES cells
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