Parthenogenetically produced embryos and embryonic stem (ES) cells derived from them offer a unique model for investigating the role of transcription factors in embryonic genome activation (EGA), pluripotent lineage specification and in pluripotency and self-renewal of ES cells because of the unique nature of these embryos. There is little information on the quantitative expression of important genes in parthenogenetically produced embryos and in ES cells derived from them. The present study examined the quantitative expression of some important genes in parthenogenetically produced buffalo embryos and in putative parthenogenetic ES cells (pES) cells. The quantitative expression of OCT-4, SOX-2, NANOG, REX-1, FOXD-3 and NUCLEOSTEMIN, which is very low in immature and mature oocytes, and in embryos at 2-, 4- and 8- to 16-cell stage, increases significantly at morula and blastocyst stage. The expression level of TELOMERASE, c-MYC and STAT-3, which is high in immature oocytes decreases during embryonic development followed by either an increase at the morula stage (TELOMERASE) or a low expression level maintained throughout development till blastocyst stage (c-MYC and STAT-3). There is a progressive decline in the expression level of OCT-4, SOX-2, c-MYC, REX-1, NUCLEOSTEMIN, TELOMERASE and STAT-3 during long term culture of pES cells.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Authors are thankful to Dr. B. Prakash (Cytogenetic Lab, NBAGR, Karnal, India) for help with karyotyping. This work was supported in part by National Agriculture Innovative Project grant ( C4-C2067&75 ) to MSC and ( C 2-1-(5)/2007 ) to SKS.
- Embryonic stem cells
- Real time PCR