Hong, N., Li, M., Zeng, Z., Yi, M., Deng, J., Gui, J., Winkler, C., Schartl, M., and Hong, Y. (2010) Accessibility of host cell lineages to medaka stem cells depends on genetic background and irradiation of recipient embryos. Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS. 67(7):1189-1202.
Chimera formation is a powerful tool for analyzing pluripotency in vivo. It has been widely accepted that host cell lineages are generally accessible to embryonic stem (ES) cells with the actual contribution depending solely on the intrinsic pluripotency of transplanted donor cells. Here, we show in the fish medaka (Oryzias latipes) that the host accessibility to ES cell contribution exhibits dramatic differences. Specifically, of three albino host strains tested (i1, i3 and af), only strain i1 generated pigmented chimeras. Strikingly, this accessibility is completely lost in i1 but acquired in i3 after host γ-irradiation. Host irradiation also differentially affected ES cell contribution to somatic organs and gonad. Therefore, the accessibility of various host cell lineages can vary considerably depending on host strains and cell lineages as well as on irradiation. Our findings underscore the importance of host genotypes for interpreting donor cell pluripotency and for improving ES-derived chimera production.