Isolation, Characterization and Differentiation Potential of Chicken Spermatogonial Stem Cell Derived Embryoid Bodies

Thanh Luan Nguyen 1 , Jae Gyu Yoo 2 , Neelesh Sharma 1 , Sung Woo Kim 3 , Yong Jun Kang 1 , Hai Ha Pham Thi 1  and Dong Kee Jeong 1 , 4
  • 1 Department of Animal Biotechnology, Faculty of Biotechnology, Jeju National University, Jeju, South Korea
  • 2 Animal Biotechnology Division, National Institute of Animal Science, Rural Development Administration, Suwon, South Korea
  • 3 Animal Genetic Resource Station, National Institute of Animal Science, Rural Development Administration, Namwon, South Korea
  • 4 Research Institute of Subtropical Agriculture and Biotechnology, Jeju National University, South Korea


Human, murine and monkey spermatogonial stem cells (SSCs) have the capability to undergo self-renewal and differentiation into different body cell types in vitro, which are expected to serve as a powerful tool and resource for the developmental biology and regenerative medicine. We have successfully isolated and characterized the chicken SSCs from 3-day-old chicken testicular cells. The pluripotency was using Periodic Acid-Schiff (PAS ) staining or alkaline phosphatase staining, and antibodies to stage-specific embryonic antigens. In suspension culture conditions SSCs formed embryoid bodies (EBs) like embryonic stem (ES) cells. Subsequently EB differentiated into osteoblasts, adipocytes and most importantly into cardiomyocytes under induced differentiation conditions. The differentiation potential of EBs into cardiomyocyte-like cells was confirmed by using antibodies against sarcomeric α-actinin, cardiac troponin T and connexin 43. Cardiomyocytes-like cells were also confirmed by RT-PCR analysis for several cardiac cell genes like GATA-4, Nkx2-5, α-MHC, and ANF. We have successfully established an in vitro differentiation system for chicken SSCs into different body cells such as osteoblasts, adipocytes and cardiomyocytes. The most significant finding of this study is the differentiation potential of chicken SSCs into cardiomyocytes. Our findings may have implication in developmental biology and regenerative medicine by using chicken as the most potential animal model.

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