Reproduction, Fertility and Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development Society
Vertebrate reproductive science and technology

LIF: a molecule with divergent actions on myeloid leukaemic cells and embryonic stem cells

NM Gough, RL Williams, DJ Hilton, S Pease, TA Willson, J Stahl, DP Gearing, NA Nicola and D Metcalf

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 1(4) 281 - 288
Published: 1989


We have previously characterized, purified and cloned a novel murine and human regulator [leukaemia inhibitory factor, LIF] which induces the differentiation of certain murine and human myeloid leukaemic cells. Recently we have shown that there are specific LIF receptors on murine embryonic stem [ES] and embryonal carcinoma [EC] cells and that purified recombinant LIF can substitute for feeder cells and crude sources of differentiation inhibiting activity [DIA] [such as BRL-cell-conditioned medium] in the maintenance of ES cells in a pluripotential state in vitro. Furthermore, ES cells maintained in culture in recombinant LIF for a prolonged period can give rise to germline chimaeric mice. Thus, based on a number of biochemical and biological similarities, it is likely that LIF and DIA are the same molecule. The identification of LIF as a molecule, necessary and sufficient for the maintenance of ES cells in culture, should have a profound impact on the use of these cells for genetic manipulations.

© CSIRO 1989

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