Francesca-Gioia Klinger, Maria-Lucia Scaldaferri, Anna Di Carlo, Marta Baiocchi, Marcello Coletta, Giulio Cossu and Massimo De Felici
Dipartimento di Sanità Pubblica e Biologia Cellulare, Università di Roma Tor Vergata, Roma, Italy.
Primordial germ cells are the only stem cells that retain true developmental totipotency after gastrulation, express markers typical of totipotent/pluripotent status and are able both in vivo and in vitro to give rise to pluripotent stem cells as EC and EG cells. We have therefore explored the possibility of the trans-differentiation of mouse PGCs to a myogenic lineage by transplanting them directly or after in vitro culture into a regenerating muscle and by culturing them on monolayers of differentianting muscle cells. The results obtained suggest that mouse PGCs may trans-differentiate into myogenic cells, provided that their somatic environment is preserved. This occurs at an estimated frequency of 0.01%, which is no higher than that reported for stem cells of adult tissues.