by Akira Niwa, Toshio Heike, Katsutsugu Umeda, Koichi Oshima, Itaru Kato, Hiromi Sakai, Hirofumi Suemori, Tatsutoshi Nakahata, Megumu K. Saito
Elucidating the in vitro differentiation of human embryonic stem (ES) and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells is important for understanding both normal and pathological hematopoietic development in vivo. For this purpose, a robust and simple hematopoietic differentiation system that can faithfully trace in vivo hematopoiesis is necessary. In this study, we established a novel serum-free monolayer culture that can trace the in vivo hematopoietic pathway from ES/iPS cells to functional definitive blood cells via mesodermal progenitors. Stepwise tuning of exogenous cytokine cocktails induced the hematopoietic mesodermal progenitors via primitive streak cells. These progenitors were then differentiated into various cell lineages depending on the hematopoietic cytokines present. Moreover, single cell deposition assay revealed that common bipotential hemoangiogenic progenitors were induced in our culture. Our system provides a new, robust, and simple method for investigating the mechanisms of mesodermal and hematopoietic differentiation.