Assessing the bipotency of in vitro-derived neuromesodermal progenitors

Anestis Tsakiridis, Valerie Wilson


Retrospective clonal analysis in the mouse has demonstrated that the posterior spinal cord neurectoderm and paraxial mesoderm share a common bipotent progenitor. These neuromesodermal progenitors (NMPs) are the source of new axial structures during embryonic rostrocaudal axis elongation and are marked by the simultaneous co-expression of the transcription factors T(Brachyury) (T(Bra)) and Sox2. NMP-like cells have recently been derived from pluripotent stem cells in vitro following combined stimulation of Wnt and fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling. Under these conditions the majority of cultures consist of T(Bra)/Sox2 co-expressing cells after 48-72 hours of differentiation. Although the capacity of these cells to generate posterior neural and paraxial mesoderm derivatives has been demonstrated at the population level, it is unknown whether a single in vitro-derived NMP can give rise to both neural and mesodermal cells. Here we demonstrate that T(Bra) positive cells obtained from mouse epiblast stem cells (EpiSCs) after culture in NMP-inducing conditions can generate both neural and mesodermal clones. This finding suggests that, similar to their embryonic counterparts, in vitro-derived NMPs are truly bipotent and can thus...Continue Reading

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