Exploring embryonic patterning with colonies of human embryonic stem cells
Human embryonic stem cells when confined within two dimensional micropatterns with diameters in the 0.5-1mm range and subject to uniform Wnt or BMP stimulation, will spontaneously form radially symmetric spatial patterns that recapitulate the proximal-distal axis of the mammalian embryo at the time of gastrulation. This assay, when combined with inducible cell lines that express the canonical morphogens or inhibitors, becomes a very powerful technique to understand how an epithelium with ~2000 cells can self organize. To eliminate the boundaries that are inherent in 2D culture we have extended the assay to cells in defined hydrogels. They form closed apical-basal polarized shells that form a localized primitive streak in response to suitable morphogens. This quantitative assay shows in a context very different from the embryo how the canonical signaling pathways, generate spatial patterns over large scales, but it also reveals cell biological aspects of signaling that are difficult to study in mammalian embryos.
More information on: https://www.rockefeller.edu/our-scientists/heads-of-laboratories/899-eric-d-siggia/
Rockefeller University, NY, USA
Domain 2 - UMR 3215 / U934 - Genetics and Developmental Biology