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Expanded potential stem cell media as a tool to study human developmental hematopoiesis in vitro

  • Wilkinson, Adam C.1
  • Ryan, David J.2
  • Kucinski, Iwo1
  • Wang, Wei2
  • Yang, Jian2
  • Nestorowa, Sonia1
  • Diamanti, Evangelia1
  • Tsang, Jason Cheuk-Ho2
  • Wang, Juexuan2
  • Campos, Lia S.2
  • Yang, Fengtang2
  • Fu, Beiyuan2
  • Wilson, Nicola1
  • Liu, Pentao2, 3
  • Gottgens, Berthold1
  • 1 Department of Haematology, Wellcome & MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, Cambridge, UK
  • 2 Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK
  • 3 School of Biomedical Sciences, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Consortium, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Published Article
Experimental Hematology
Elsevier Science Inc
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2019
DOI: 10.1016/j.exphem.2019.07.003
PMID: 31326613
PMCID: PMC6859476
PubMed Central


Pluripotent stem cell (PSC) differentiation in vitro represents a powerful and tractable model to study mammalian development and an unlimited source of cells for regenerative medicine. Within hematology, in vitro PSC hematopoiesis affords novel insights into blood formation and represents an exciting potential approach to generate hematopoietic and immune cell types for transplantation and transfusion. Most studies to date have focused on in vitro hematopoiesis from mouse PSCs and human PSCs. However, differences in mouse and human PSC culture protocols have complicated the translation of discoveries between these systems. We recently developed a novel chemical media formulation, expanded potential stem cell medium (EPSCM), that maintains mouse PSCs in a unique cellular state and extraembryonic differentiation capacity. Herein, we describe how EPSCM can be directly used to stably maintain human PSCs. We further demonstrate that human PSCs maintained in EPSCM can spontaneously form embryoid bodies and undergo in vitro hematopoiesis using a simple differentiation protocol, similar to mouse PSC differentiation. EPSCM-maintained human PSCs generated at least two hematopoietic cell populations, which displayed distinct transcriptional profiles by RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis. EPSCM also supports gene targeting using homologous recombination, affording generation of an SPI1 (PU.1) reporter PSC line to study and track in vitro hematopoiesis. EPSCM therefore provides a useful tool not only to study pluripotency but also hematopoietic cell specification and developmental-lineage commitment.

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