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In vitro differentiation of mouse T cell-derived hybrid cells obtained through cell fusion with embryonic stem cells

Nakajima, Marino, Suzuki, Teruhiko, Hara, Takahiko, Kitajima, Kenji
Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2019 v.513 no.3 pp. 701-707
T-lymphocytes, blastocyst, cell fusion, embryonic germ layers, embryonic stem cells, endothelial cells, hematopoietic stem cells, hybrids, mice, somatic cells, thymocytes
Nuclear reprogramming is an innovative advance in cell biology. An important research initiative in this field is cell fusion-mediated nuclear reprogramming, wherein the nuclei of somatic cells, such as thymocytes, are initialized through cell fusion with embryonic stem cells (ESCs). However, hybrid cells obtained through cell fusion between ESCs and thymocytes failed to contribute to the embryo proper when injected into blastocysts, which suggested that there are fundamental defects in such hybrid cells. Here, we performed side-by-side comparative analyses of the in vitro growth and differentiation capacities of ESCs and ESC-T hybrid cells. We found that the hybrid cells were larger and proliferated more slowly than the ESCs in 2i/LIF medium. Upon in vitro induction of differentiation, hybrid cells gave rise to cells of the three germ layers. Under culture conditions for hematopoietic differentiation, hybrid cells successively differentiated into lateral mesodermal cells, hemogenic endothelial cells, and various types of hematopoietic cells, including erythroid, myeloid, and lymphoid cells, although T cell maturation in the CD4/CD8 double-negative fraction was delayed. These results verified the multi-lineage differentiation capacity of ESC-T hybrid cells. The minimal contribution of hybrid cells to chimeric embryos may be due to their slow growth.