Recent studies have demonstrated that somatic stem cells have a flexible potential greater than previously expected when they are transplanted into different tissues. On the other hand, recent studies also have revealed that these potentials might occur because of spontaneous cell fusion with recipient cells. The nuclei of somatic cells could have been reprogrammed when they were artificially or spontaneously fused with mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells. The resultant hybrid cells acquired a developmental pluripotency that the original somatic cells did not have but that ES cells did. LaBarge and Blau (Cell 2002; 111:589–601) demonstrated that adult bone marrow-derived cells contributed to muscle tissue in a stepwise biological progression. This means that bone marrow-derived cells became satellite cells of mononucleate muscle stem cells after the first irradiation-induced damage to the mouse, and after the second irradiation-induced damage, multinucleate myofibers appeared from the bone marrow-derived cells. Considered together, the differentiation potential of the somatic stem cell nucleus itself remains unclear. Although the pluripotency of somatic stem cell populations has been evaluated, the developmental totipotency of the nuclei of somatic stem cells, whether or not they fused with other cells, has not been shown, except in only one study concerning fetal neural cells (never in adult stem cells). Here, we showed the developmental totipotency of adult bovine mesenchymal stem cells by nuclear transfer.
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