U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


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Published in In Vitro Cellular & Developmental Biology. Animal, Vol. 43, No. 2 (Feb., 2007), pp. 72-86 DOI 10.1007/s 11626-007-9014-8


Two porcine cell lines of yolk-sac visceral endoderm, designated as PE-1 and PE-2, were derived from in vivo 11-d porcine blastocysts that were either ovoid (PE-1) or at the early tubular stage of elongation (PE-2). Primary and secondary culture of the cell lines was done on STO feeder cells. The PE-1 and PE-2 cells morphologically resembled visceral endoderm previously cultured from in vivo-derived ovine and equine blastocysts and from in vitro-derived bovine blastocysts. Analysis of the PE-1- and PE-2-conditioned medium by 2D-gel electrophoresis and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-time-of-flightmass spectrometry demonstrated that they produced serum proteins. Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction analysis showed that the cells expressed several genes typical for yolk-sac endoderm differentiation and function including GATA-6, DAB-2, REX-1, HNF-1, transthyretin, alpha-fetoprotein, and albumin. Unlike a porcine liver cell line, the PE-1 and PE-2 cell lines had relatively low inducible P-450 content and EROD activity, and, while they cleared ammonia from the cell culture medium, they did not produce urea. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that the cells were a polarized epithelium connected by complex junctions resembling tight junctions and by lateral desmosomes. Rough endoplasmic reticulum was prominent within the cells. Immunocytochemistry indicated that the PE-1 cells expressed cytokeratin 18 and had robust microtubule networks similar to those observed in in vivo porcine yolk-sac endoderm. Metaphase spreads prepared at passage 26 of the PE-1 cell line indicated a diploid porcine karyotype of 38 chromosomes. The cells have been grown for over 1 yr for multiple passages at 1:10 or 1:20 split ratios on STO feeder cells. The cell lines will be of interest as an in vitro model of the porcine preimplantationy olk-sac tissue.