Aims: The transcriptome and fate potential of three diverse human embryonic stem cell-derived clonal embryonic progenitor cell lines with markers of cephalic neural crest are compared when differentiated in the presence of combinations of TGFβ3, BMP4, SCF and HyStem-C matrices. Materials & methods: The cell lines E69 and T42 were compared with MEL2, using gene expression microarrays, immunocytochemistry and ELISA. Results: In the undifferentiated progenitor state, each line displayed unique markers of cranial neural crest including TFAP2A and CD24; however, none expressed distal HOX genes including HOXA2 or HOXB2, or the mesenchymal stem cell marker CD74. The lines also showed diverse responses when differentiated in the presence of exogenous BMP4, BMP4 and TGFβ3, SCF, and SCF and TGFβ3. The clones E69 and T42 showed a profound capacity for expression of endochondral ossification markers when differentiated in the presence of BMP4 and TGFβ3, choroid plexus markers in the presence of BMP4 alone, and leptomeningeal markers when differentiated in SCF without TGFβ3. Conclusion: The clones E69 and T42 may represent a scalable source of primitive cranial neural crest cells useful in the study of cranial embryology, and potentially cell-based therapy.
- choroid plexus
- clonal embryonic progenitor cells
- embryonic stem cells
- neural crest