Generation of germ cells in vitro in the era of induced pluripotent stem cells

Masanori Imamura, Orie Hikabe, Zachary Yu Ching Lin, Hideyuki Okano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are stem cells that can be artificially generated via "cellular reprogramming" using gene transduction in somatic cells. iPSCs have enormous potential in stem-cell biology as they can give rise to numerous cell lineages, including the three germ layers. An evaluation of germ-line competency by blastocyst injection or tetraploid complementation, however, is critical for determining the developmental potential of mouse iPSCs towards germ cells. Recent studies have demonstrated that primordial germ cells obtained by the in vitro differentiation of iPSCs produce functional gametes as well as healthy offspring. These findings illustrate not only that iPSCs are developmentally similar to embryonic stem cells (ESCs), but also that somatic cells from adult tissues can produce gametes in vitro, that is, if they are reprogrammed into iPSCs. In this review, we discuss past and recent advances in the in vitro differentiation of germ cells using pluripotent stem cells, with an emphasis on ESCs and iPSCs. While this field of research is still at a stage of infancy, it holds great promises for investigating the mechanisms of germ-cell development, especially in humans, and for advancing reproductive and developmental engineering technologies in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-19
Number of pages18
JournalMolecular Reproduction and Development
Volume81
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jan

Fingerprint

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Germ Cells
Embryonic Stem Cells
Stem Cells
Germ Layers
Pluripotent Stem Cells
Tetraploidy
Blastocyst
Cell Lineage
In Vitro Techniques
Cell Biology
Technology
Injections
Research
Genes

Keywords

  • ES cells
  • Germ cells
  • In vitro differentiation
  • IPS cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Generation of germ cells in vitro in the era of induced pluripotent stem cells. / Imamura, Masanori; Hikabe, Orie; Lin, Zachary Yu Ching; Okano, Hideyuki.

In: Molecular Reproduction and Development, Vol. 81, No. 1, 01.2014, p. 2-19.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Imamura, Masanori ; Hikabe, Orie ; Lin, Zachary Yu Ching ; Okano, Hideyuki. / Generation of germ cells in vitro in the era of induced pluripotent stem cells. In: Molecular Reproduction and Development. 2014 ; Vol. 81, No. 1. pp. 2-19.
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