Parthenogenetic embryos have been suggested as an alternative source of embryonic stem cells (ESCs). The present study was undertaken to determine the efficiency with which porcine heterozygous parthenotes could be produced using cytochalasin B (CB) or cytochalasin D (CD) and whether parthenogenetic ESCs (pESCs) could be isolated from these. Cleavage rate was lower and fewer embryos developed to the blastocyst stage in the CB group compared with the CD group. The number of primary outgrowths obtained was also lower in the CB compared with the CD group. No primary lines were isolated from embryonal outgrowths in the CB group. In contrast, primary cell lines were derived from these in the CD group. These lines survived vitrification and warming, resulting in established cell lines, which maintained a characteristic ESC morphology and expressed the pluripotent markers Oct4 and Nanog following repeated passaging. Putative pESC lines could also be directly differentiated to cell types representative of all three germ layers.
Keywords: Parthenotes, Porcine, Heterozygosity, Heterozygous ESC