Teratoma formation, the standard in vivo pluripotency assay, is also frequently used as a tumorigenicity assay. A common concern in therapeutic stem cell applications is the tumorigenicity potential of a small number of cell impurities in the final product. Estimation of this small number is hampered by the inaccurate methodology of the tumorigenicity assay. Hence, a protocol for tumorigenicity assay that can deliver a defined number of cells, without error introduced by leakage or migration of cells is needed. In this study, we tested our modified transplantation method that allows for transplant of small numbers of pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) under the kidney capsule with minimal cell leakage. A glass capillary with a finely shaped tip and an attached mouth pipette was used to inject PSCs into the rodent kidney capsule. H9 embryonic and induced PSCs were tagged with Fluc and green fluorescence protein reporter genes and divided in different cell doses for transplantation. Bioluminescence imaging (BLI) on the day of surgery showed that the cell signal was confined to the kidney and signal intensity correlated with increasing transplant cell numbers. The overall cell leakage rate was 17% and the rodent survival rate was 96%. Teratoma formation was observed in rodents transplanted with cell numbers between 1×10(5)-2×10(6). We conclude that this modified procedure for transplanting PSCs under the kidney capsule allows for transplantation of a defined number of PSCs with significant reduction of error associated with cell leakage from the transplant site.
View details for DOI 10.1089/scd.2014.0099
View details for PubMedID 24800694
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4142776