The importance of post-thaw subculture for standardizing cellular activity of fresh or cryopreserved mouse embryonic stem cells

  • Ko, Dong Woo (Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University) ;
  • Yoon, Jung Ki (Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University) ;
  • Ahn, Jong il (Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University) ;
  • Lee, Myungook (Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University) ;
  • Yang, Woo Sub (Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University) ;
  • Ahn, Ji Yeon (Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University) ;
  • Lim, Jeong Mook (Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University)
  • Received : 2017.04.17
  • Accepted : 2017.08.07
  • Published : 2018.03.01


Objective: Remarkable difference in cellular activity was found between early and late subpassaged embryonic stem cell (ESCs) lines, which can be created by subtle changes in cell manipulation protocol. This study subsequently examined whether post-thaw subculture of early subpassaged ESC lines could further affect the activity of the ESCs. Methods: Fresh (as a control treatment) or cryopreserved F1 hybrid (B6CBAF1) early ESC lines (C57BL/6xCBA) of the 4 (P4) or the 19 passage (P19) were subcultured once, twice or six times under the same condition. The post-thaw survival of the ESCs was monitored after the post-treatment subculture and the ability of cell proliferation, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, apoptosis and mitochondrial ATP synthesis was subsequently examined. Results: Regardless of the subculture number, P19 ESCs showed better (p<0.05) doubling time and less ATP production than P4 ESCs and such difference was not influenced by fresh or cryopreservation. The difference between P4 and P19 ESC lines became decreased as the post-treatment subculture was increased and the six times subculture eliminated such difference. Similarly, transient but prominent difference in ROS production and apoptotic cell number was detected between P4 and P19 ESCs only at the 1st subculture after treatment, but no statistical differences between two ESC lines was detected in other observations. Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that post-thaw subculture of ESCs under the same environment is recommended for standardizing their cellular activity. The activity of cell proliferation ability and ATP synthesis can be used as parameters for quality control of ESCs.


Supported by : Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF)


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