• human embryonic stem (hES) cells;
  • pronucleus (PN);
  • aneuploid zygote;
  • pluripotency


Human embryonic stem (hES) cell lines have been derived from normally or abnormally fertilized zygotes. However, the similar and different properties of these two types of hES cell lines are not well-known. To address this question, we generated nine hES cell lines from zygotes containing normal (2PN) and abnormal (0PN, 1PN, 3PN) pronuclei. A side-by-side comparison showed that all cell lines exhibited distinct identity and karyotypical stability. They expressed similar “stemness” markers and alkaline phosphatase activity and differentiated into three embryonic germ lineages in embryoid bodies and teratomas. Under neural differentiation-promoting conditions, they were directed into neural progenitors and neurons. However, a variation in cell cycle and the relative abundance of gene expression of undifferentiated and differentiated markers were observed. These variations were also seen among individually derived normal hES cell lines. Thus, normal hES cell lines can be developed from fertilized zygotes with abnormal pronuclei usually excluded from clinical use. Developmental Dynamics 239:425–438, 2010. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.