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Pluripotent stem cell (PSC) differentiation in vitro represents a powerful and tractable model to study mammalian development and an unlimited source of cells for regenerative medicine. Within hematology, in vitro PSC hematopoiesis affords novel insights into blood formation and represents an exciting potential approach to generate hematopoietic and immune cell types for transplantation and transfusion. Most studies to date have focused on in vitro hematopoiesis from mouse PSCs and human PSCs. However, differences in mouse and human PSC culture protocols have complicated the translation of discoveries between these systems. We recently developed a novel chemical media formulation, expanded potential stem cell medium (EPSCM), that maintains mouse PSCs in a unique cellular state and extraembryonic differentiation capacity. Herein, we describe how EPSCM can be directly used to stably maintain human PSCs. We further demonstrate that human PSCs maintained in EPSCM can spontaneously form embryoid bodies and undergo in vitro hematopoiesis using a simple differentiation protocol, similar to mouse PSC differentiation. EPSCM-maintained human PSCs generated at least two hematopoietic cell populations, which displayed distinct transcriptional profiles by RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis. EPSCM also supports gene targeting using homologous recombination, affording generation of an SPI1 (PU.1) reporter PSC line to study and track in vitro hematopoiesis. EPSCM therefore provides a useful tool not only to study pluripotency but also hematopoietic cell specification and developmental-lineage commitment.

Original publication




Journal article


Exp Hematol

Publication Date





1 - 12.e5


Animals, Cell Culture Techniques, Cell Cycle, Cell Lineage, Cells, Cultured, Cellular Reprogramming Techniques, Culture Media, Embryoid Bodies, Fibroblasts, Genes, Reporter, Hematopoiesis, Human Embryonic Stem Cells, Humans, Mice, Neural Stem Cells, Pluripotent Stem Cells, Sequence Analysis, RNA, Species Specificity, Stem Cell Transplantation, Teratoma