2016 Volume 62 Issue 2 Pages 143-149
An in vitro culture system of chicken primordial germ cells (PGCs) has been recently developed, but the growth factor involved in the proliferation of PGCs is largely unknown. In the present study, we investigated the growth effects of chicken stem cell factor (chSCF) on the in vitro proliferation of chicken PGCs. We established two feeder cell lines (buffalo rat liver cells; BRL cells) that stably express the putative secreted form of chSCF (chSCF1-BRL) and membrane bound form of chSCF (chSCF2-BRL). Cultured PGC lines were incubated on chSCF1 or chSCF2-BRL feeder cells with fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2), and growth effects of each chSCF isoform were investigated. The in vitro proliferation rate of the PGCs cultured on chSCF2-BRL at 20 days of culture was more than threefold higher than those cultured on chSCF1-BRL cells and more than fivefold higher than those cultured on normal BRL cells. Thus, use of chSCF2-BRL feeder layer was effective for in vitro proliferation of chicken PGCs. However, the acceleration of PGC proliferation on chSCF2-BRL was not observed without FGF2, suggesting that chSCF2 would act as a proliferation co-factor of FGF2. We transferred the PGCs cultured on chSCF2-BRL cells to recipient embryos, generated germline chimeric chickens and assessed the germline competency of cultured PGCs by progeny test. Donor-derived progenies were obtained, and the frequency of germline transmission was 3.39%. The results of this study demonstrate that chSCF2 induces hyperproliferation of chicken PGCs retaining germline competency in vitro in cooperation with FGF2.