Differential requirements for hematopoietic commitment between human and rhesus embryonic stem cells

Deepika Rajesh, Nachimuthu Chinnasamy, Shoukhrat M. Mitalipov, Don P. Wolf, Igor Slukvin, James A. Thomson, Aimen F. Shaaban*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Progress toward clinical application of ESC-derived hematopoietic cellular transplantation will require rigorous evaluation in a large animal allogeneic model. However, in contrast to human ESCs (hESCs), efforts to induce conclusive hematopoietic differentiation from rhesus macaque ESCs (rESCs) have been unsuccessful. Characterizing these poorly understood functional differences will facilitate progress in this area and likely clarify the critical steps involved in the hematopoietic differentiation of ESCs. To accomplish this goal, we compared the hematopoietic differentiation of hESCs with that of rESCs in both EB culture and stroma coculture. Initially, undifferentiated rESCs and hESCs were adapted to growth on Matrigel without a change in their phenotype or karyotype. Subsequent differentiation of rESCs in OP9 stroma led to the development of CD34+CD45- cells that gave rise to endothelial cell networks in methylcellulose culture. In the same conditions, hESCs exhibited convincing hematopoietic differentiation. In cytokine-supplemented EB culture, rESCs demonstrated improved hematopoietic differentiation with higher levels of CD34+ and detectable levels of CD45+ cells. However, these levels remained dramatically lower than those for hESCs in identical culture conditions. Subsequent plating of cytokine-supplemented rhesus EBs in methylcellulose culture led to the formation of mixed colonies of erythroid, myeloid, and endothelial cells, confirming the existence of bipotential hematoendothelial progenitors in the cytokine-supplemented EB cultures. Evaluation of four different rESC lines confirmed the validity of these disparities. Although rESCs have the potential for hematopoietic differentiation, they exhibit a pause at the hemangioblast stage of hematopoietic development in culture conditions developed for hESCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)490-499
Number of pages10
JournalStem Cells
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007


  • Embryonic stem cells
  • Hemangioblast
  • Hematopoiesis
  • Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
  • Human
  • Rhesus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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