Journal of cellular biochemistry

In vitro improvement of quail primordial germ cell expansion through activation of TGF-beta signaling pathway.

PMID 29243844


Avian primordial germ cells (PGCs) have valuable potentials to cell-based approaches for transgenic bird production. In this regard, improvement of avian PGC expansion in vitro is necessary. Among experimental avian species, quail is a good model for transgenic technology, especially due to its short generation time. In the present study, we have examined the proliferative effects of transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) on the quail PGCs. After isolation of quail PGCs from blood (Hamburger-Hamilton [HH stages 13-15]) and gonads (HH stages 28-30), these cells were cultured on quail embryonic fibroblasts (QEF). Our results indicated th at cultured gonadal-derived PGCs proliferated 400 times in comparison to 100 times for blood PGCs over 40-50 days. Upon in vitro exposure to TGF-β inducers by Activin or the inducer of definitive endoderm 1 (IDE1) small molecule, the number of gonad PGCs significantly increased to 26% and 64%, respectively. In contrast, inhibition of the TGF-β signaling pathway by SB431542 resulted in a significant reduction in the numbers of PGCs (P < 0.001). Moreover, Phosphorylation of SMAD2/3 in the IDE1 group was higher compared to the Activin-treated ones. We confirmed the PGC identification with periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) staining, anti-SSEA1, β-catenin, β-integrin, and Nanog immunofluorescence staining. Exogenously IDE1 treated-PGCs migrated toward the embryonic gonads after transplantation into the heart of the recipient embryo at HH stages 13-15. Our results suggested that the application of IDE1 small molecule into the culture of quail PGCs represented a step toward achieving efficient expansion of the avian PGCs.

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C5405 Chicken Serum, USA origin, sterile-filtered, suitable for cell culture