J.B. Cibelli

Mammalian parthenogenetic or androgenetic embryos, when transferred into the uterus of a recipient animal, cannot develop to term. This lack of developmental competence is attributed to imprinted genes, expressed only if contributed by the mother or by the father.

Previous work done by others in the mouse have demonstrated the possibility of generating embryonic stem cells from parthenogenetic and androgenetic embryos [1, 2]. Using Cynomolgus macaques as a model we have been able to produce parthenogenetic embryonic stem cells (Cyno-1) that when induced to differentiate are able to produce derivatives of ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm [3].

We have extensively characterized Cyno-1 cells and analyzed their developmental potential in vitro and in vivo. In vitro, Cyno-1 cell can readily form neuroectoderm derivatives. We derived functional neurons, and glial cells at high degree of purity. Recently, Cyno-1 cells were injected into the brain of rats and one monkey that had been induced to have Parkinson disease symptoms (xenogeneic and allogeneic transplant respectively). Although no significant improvement was observed, the cells integrated with the host and were able to produce dopamine [4]. We will discuss the potential applications of parthenogenetically derived primate ES cells as well as our latest results on their characterization with emphasis on imprinted genes.

1. Robertson, E.J., M.J. Evans, and M.H. Kaufman, X-chromosome instability in pluripotential stem cell lines derived from parthenogenetic embryos. J Embryol Exp Morphol, 1983. 74: p. 297-309.


2. Mann, J.R., et al., Androgenetic mouse embryonic stem cells are pluripotent and cause skeletal defects in chimeras: implications for genetic imprinting. Cell, 1990. 62(2): p. 251-60.


3. Cibelli, J.B., et al., Parthenogenetic Stem Cells in Nonhuman Primates. Science, 2002. 295(5556): p. 819-.


4. Sanchez-Pernaute, R., et al., Long-term survival of dopamine neurons derived from parthenogenetic primate embryonic stem cells (Cyno1) after transplantation. Stem Cells, 2005.

Keywords (Optional): 
embryonic stem cells