Embryo-derived stem cells -a system is emerging

  • Binas, B. (Division of Molecular and Life Sciences, Hanyang University)
  • Published : 2009.02.28


In mammals, major progress has recently been made with the dissection of early embryonic cell specification, the isolation of stem cells from early embryos, and the production of embryonic-like stem cells from adult cells. These studies have overcome long-standing species barriers for stem cell isolation, have revealed a deeper than expected similarity of embryo cell types across species, and have led to a better understanding of the lineage identities of embryo-derived stem cells, most notably of mouse and human embryonic stem (ES) cells. Thus, it has now become possible to propose a species-overarching classification of embryo stem cells, which are defined here as pre- to early post-implantation conceptus-derived stem cell types that maintain embryonic lineage identities in vitro. The present article gives an overview of these cells and discusses their relationships with each other and the conceptus. Consequently, it is debated whether further embryo stem cell types await isolation, and the study of the earliest extraembryonically committed stem cells is identified as a promising new research field.


Development;Embryo;Human;Mouse;Rat;Regenerative-medicine;Stem cells


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