Embryonic Stem (ES) cells are derived from blastocyst and these cells have the capability to generate all embryonic tissues in vitro. This propensity of ES cells has acquired considerable attention in recent years due to the promising potential for future cell replacement-based therapies. The in vitro differentiation capacity of ES cells provides unique opportunities for experimental analysis of gene regulation and function during cell commitment and differentiation in early embryogenesis. The ES cells are pluripotent cell lines with the capacity of self-renewal and a broad differentiation plasticity. They are derived from pre-implantation embryos and can be propagated as a homogeneous, uncommitted cell population for an almost unlimited period of time without losing their pluripotency and their stable karyotype. The ES cell technology is of high interest for researchers associated with livestock species. Simultaneously, research activities are being focused on characteristics and differentiation potential of Somatic Stem Cells (SSCs), unraveling an unexpected plasticity of these cell types. Somatic stem cells are found in differentiated tissues and can renew themselves in addition to generating the specialized cell types of the tissue from which they originate. Additional to discoveries of SSCs in tissues that were previously not thought to contain these kinds of cells, they also appear to be capable of developing into cell types of other tissues, but have a reduced differentiation potential as compared to embryo-derived stem cells. Therefore, SSCs are referred to as multipotent rather than pluripotent. This review summarizes characteristics of pluripotent ESCs in bovines and evaluates their potentials for in vitro propagation and differentiation as well as their potential uses in cell based therapies. PDFFulltextXMLReferencesCitation
How to cite this article
T.V. Meenambigai and V. Sejian, 2011. Insights into Embryonic Stem Cells of Bovines. Asian Journal of Animal Sciences, 5: 1-18.