2008 Vol. 29, No. 5
Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is a pleiotropic factor, which plays an important role in the nervous system. Previously, we had produced highly enriched (88.3±8.1%) transplantable populations of neural progenitors from rhesus monkey embryonic stem cells (rESCs) using an embryoid body (EB) system containing HGF and G5 supplement. However, the exact role of HGF in the neural differentiation process as well as the mechanism of HGF is not clear. Here, on the basis of the ameliorated differentiation system, we efficiently produced populations of neural progenitors (81.66±4.37%) from rESCs in an adherent monoculture system containing HGF and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) within two weeks. Moreover, we obtained similar results with the systems containing either HGF or bFGF alone, or neither of them, which implied that extrinsic HGF can not determine the neural fate of the rESCs in the differentiation process. Further results suggested HGF with bFGF synergistically promoted the proliferation of the neural progenitors derived from rESCs. In conclusion, through this study, a much simpler method of inducing rESCs differentiation towards neural cells has been established and extrinsic HGF did not function in neural induction from rESCs to neural progenitor cells. However, HGF with bFGF synergistically promoted the proliferation of the neural progenitors derived from rESCs.