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Stem Cells International
Volume 2018, Article ID 7906531, 9 pages
Research Article

Comparison of Teratoma Formation between Embryonic Stem Cells and Parthenogenetic Embryonic Stem Cells by Molecular Imaging

1Nankai University School of Medicine, Tianjin 300071, China
2The Key Lab of Bioactive Materials, Ministry of Education, The College of Life Science, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China
3Department of Ophthalmology, Ophthalmology and Visual Science Key Lab of PLA, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing 100853, China
4State Key Laboratory of Kidney Diseases Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing 100853, China
5Faculty of Clinical Medicine, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Zhejiang 310058, China
6Department of Cardiology, Rizhao Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shandong 276800, China
7Beijing Engineering Laboratory of Perinatal Stem Cells, Beijing Institute of Health and Stem Cells, Health & Biotech Co., Beijing 100176, China
8State Key Lab of Experimental Hematology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Tianjin 300020, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Xiaojing Wang; and Zongjin Li; nc.ude.iaknan@ilnijgnoz

Received 7 November 2017; Accepted 27 December 2017; Published 25 March 2018

Academic Editor: Hui Li

Copyright © 2018 Hongyan Tao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


With their properties of self-renewal and differentiation, embryonic stem (ES) cells hold great promises for regenerative therapy. However, teratoma formation and ethical concerns of ES cells may restrict their potential clinical applications. Currently, parthenogenetic embryonic stem (pES) cells have attracted the interest of researchers for its self-renewing and pluripotent differentiation while eliciting less ethic concerns. In this study, we established a model with ES and pES cells both stably transfected with a double-fusion reporter gene containing renilla luciferase (Rluc) and red fluorescent protein (RFP) to analyze the mechanisms of teratoma formation. Transgenic Vegfr2-luc mouse, which expresses firefly luciferase (Fluc) under the promoter of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (Vegfr2-luc), was used to trace the growth of new blood vessel recruited by transplanted cells. Bioluminescence imaging (BLI) of Rluc/Fluc provides an effective tool in estimating the growth and angiogenesis of teratoma in vivo. We found that the tumorigenesis and angiogenesis capacity of ES cells were higher than those of pES cells, in which VEGF/VEGFR2 signal pathway plays an important role. In conclusion, pES cells have the decreased potential of teratoma formation but meanwhile have similar differentiating capacity compared with ES cells. These data demonstrate that pES cells provide an alternative source for ES cells with the risk reduction of teratoma formation and without ethical controversy.