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Title: Establishment in culture of mouse and human stem cells with expanded fate potential
Author: Ryan, David John
ISNI:       0000 0004 7229 3041
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2018
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The zygote and blastomeres of cleavage stage mouse embryos have the capacity to differentiate to the embryonic and both extra-embryonic lineages and are considered functionally totipotent. Until now, it has not been possible to establish stable cell lines that resemble these totipotent-like cells. In this work, I hypothesised that by modulating signalling pathways known to be important in early embryonic development it may be possible to capture in vitro a self-renewing state that possessed features of pre-implantation blastomeres. I succeeded in formulating a novel hypothesis driven cell culture medium which allowed the establishment of a stem cell state that possessed expanded differentiation potential to the embryonic and both extra-embryonic lineages in vitro and in vivo. These cells were isolated directly from in vitro culture of mouse pre-implantation embryos or single cell blastomeres, reprogrammed from somatic cells or converted from mouse ES cells. With these cells, I generated single cell chimeras which demonstrated extensive contribution to all lineages in the developing organism providing additional evidence that this chemical medium maintained a homogenous stem cell population. I demonstrated that the transcriptome of these cells was enriched with an early pre-implantation blastomere signature, distinct from other rare published totipotent-like cells. Finally, I demonstrated that the same chemical formulation permitted the establishment in vitro of a human stem cell state that possessed expanded differentiation potential to the embryonic and extra-embryonic lineage in vitro. My work has shown for the first time that through chemical modulation of pathways implicated to be involved in pre-implantation development, a novel homogenous stem cell state that possesses a pre-implantation transcriptional signature and expanded differentiation potential to both the embryonic and extra-embryonic lineage can be established and maintained in vitro in both mouse and human, suggesting a possible interspecies conservation of the signalling networks involved in early embryonic development.
Supervisor: Liu, Pentao ; Watts, Colin Sponsor: Wellcome Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Expanded Potential Stem Cells ; Expanded Potential Stem Cell Medium ; Embryonic Stem Cells ; Preimplantation Mouse Embryo ; Blastomeres ; Totipotency