Effect of Antibiotics against Mycoplasma sp. on Human Embryonic Stem Cells Undifferentiated Status, Pluripotency, Cell Viability and Growth

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Abstract

Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) are self-renewing pluripotent cells that can differentiate into specialized cells and hold great promise as models for human development and disease studies, cell-replacement therapies, drug discovery and in vitro cytotoxicity tests. The culture and differentiation of these cells are both complex and expensive, so it is essential to extreme aseptic conditions. hESCs are susceptible to Mycoplasma sp. infection, which is hard to detect and alters stem cell-associated properties. The purpose of this work was to evaluate the efficacy and cytotoxic effect of PlasmocinTM and ciprofloxacin (specific antibiotics used for Mycoplasma sp. eradication) on hESCs. Mycoplasma sp. infected HUES-5 884 (H5 884, stable hESCs H5-brachyury promoter-GFP line) cells were effectively cured with a 14 days PlasmocinTM 25 μg/ml treatment (curative treatment) while maintaining stemness characteristic features. Furthermore, cured H5 884 cells exhibit the same karyotype as the parental H5 line and expressed GFP, through up-regulation of brachyury promoter, at day 4 of differentiation onset. Moreover, H5 cells treated with ciprofloxacin 10 μg/ml for 14 days (mimic of curative treatment) and H5 and WA09 (H9) hESCs treated with PlasmocinTM 5 μg/ml (prophylactic treatment) for 5 passages retained hESCs features, as judged by the expression of stemness-related genes (TRA1-60, TRA1-81, SSEA-4, Oct-4, Nanog) at mRNA and protein levels. In addition, the presence of specific markers of the three germ layers (brachyury, Nkx2.5 and cTnT: mesoderm; AFP: endoderm; nestin and Pax-6: ectoderm) was verified in in vitro differentiated antibiotic-treated hESCs. In conclusion, we found that PlasmocinTM and ciprofloxacin do not affect hESCs stemness and pluripotency nor cell viability. However, curative treatments slightly diminished cell growth rate. This cytotoxic effect was reversible as cells regained normal growth rate upon antibiotic withdrawal. © 2013 Romorini et al.

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Romorini, L., Riva, D. A., Blüguermann, C., Videla Richardson, G. A., Scassa, M. E., Sevlever, G. E., & Miriuka, S. G. (2013). Effect of Antibiotics against Mycoplasma sp. on Human Embryonic Stem Cells Undifferentiated Status, Pluripotency, Cell Viability and Growth. PLoS ONE, 8(7). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0070267

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