2005 年 25 巻 5 号 p. 442-446
Embryonic stem(ES) cells have a potential to differentiate into various progenitor cells. In this review we investigated the capacity of mouse ES cells to differentiate into renal tubular cells. After stably transfecting Wnt4 cDNA to mouse ES cells(Wnt4-ES cells) by electroporation, the ES cells were incubated by the hanging drop culture method without leukemia inhibitory factor(LIF) to induce differentiation to embryoid bodies(EBs).
During the culture of the EBs derived from the Wnt4-ES cells, aquaporin-2(AQP2) mRNA and protein were expressed within 15-20 days after the removal of LIF. The expression of AQP2 in Wnt4-EBs was enhanced in the presence of hepatocyte growth factor(HGF) and activin A. We observed AQP2 positive tubular-like formation from Wnt4-EBs in three-dimensional culture. Our result shows that two new findings: firstly, that cultured Wnt4-EBs have an ability to differentiate into renal tubular-like cells; and secondly, that Wnt4, HGF, and activin A may promote the differentiation of ES cells to renal tubular-like cells.