Suspension Culture of Undifferentiated Human Embryonic and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Amit, Michal; Chebath, Judith; Margulets, Victoria; Laevsky, Ilana; Miropolsky, Yael; Shariki, Kohava; Peri, Meital; Blais, Idit; Slutsky, Guy; Revel, Michel; Itskovitz-Eldor, Joseph
June 2010
Stem Cell Reviews & Reports;Jun2010, Vol. 6 Issue 2, p248
Academic Journal
Alongside their contribution to research, human embryonic stem cells (hESC) may also prove valuable for cell-based therapies. Traditionally, these cells have been grown in adhesion culture either with or without feeder cells, allowing for their continuous growth as undifferentiated cells. However, to be applicable in therapy and industry they must be produced in a scalable and controlled process. Here we present for the first time a suspension culture system for undifferentiated hESC and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), based on medium supplemented with the IL6RIL6 chimera (interleukin-6 receptor fused to interleukin-6), and basic fibroblast growth factor. Four hESC lines cultured in this system maintained all ESC features after 20 passages, including stable karyotype and pluripotency. Similar results were obtained when hESC were replaced with iPSC from two different cell lines. We demonstrate that the IL6RIL6 chimera supports the self-renewal and expansion of undifferentiated hESC and iPSC in suspension, and thus present another efficient system for large-scale propagation of undifferentiated pluripotent cells for clinical and translational applications.


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