Human Embryonic Stem Cell Lines Derived from Discarded Embryos



Human pluripotent embryonic stem (ES) cells have important potential in regenerative medicine and as models for human preimplantation development; however, debate continues over whether embryos should be destroyed to produce human ES cells. We have derived four ES cell lines on mouse embryonic fibroblast cells in medium supplemented with basic fibroblast growth factor, human recombinant leukemia inhibitory factor, and fetal bovine serum. The source of these cell lines was poor-quality embryos that in the course of routine clinical practice would have been discarded. After continuous proliferation in vitro for more than 12 months, these ES cell lines maintained their developmental potential to form trophoblast and somatic cells, including cardiac muscle and neuronal tissue.