Canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling has been suggested to promote self-renewal of pluripotent mouse and human embryonic stem cells. Here, we show that SB-216763, a glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3) inhibitor, can maintain mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) in a pluripotent state in the absence of exogenous leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) when cultured on mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs). MESCs maintained with SB-216763 for one month were morphologically indistinguishable from LIF-treated mESCs and expressed pluripotent-specific genes Oct4, Sox2, and Nanog. Furthermore, Nanog immunostaining was more homogenous in SB-216763-treated colonies compared to LIF. Embryoid bodies (EBs) prepared from these mESCs expressed early-stage markers for all three germ layers, and could efficiently differentiate into cardiac-like cells and MAP2-immunoreactive neurons. To our knowledge, SB-216763 is the first GSK3 inhibitor that can promote self-renewal of mESC co-cultured with MEFs for more than two months. © 2012 Kirby et al.
Kirby, L. A., Schott, J. T., Noble, B. L., Mendez, D. C., Caseley, P. S., Peterson, S. C., … Patel, N. V. (2012). Glycogen Synthase Kinase 3 (GSK3) inhibitor, SB-216763, promotes pluripotency in mouse embryonic stem cells. PLoS ONE, 7(6). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0039329