STAT3 and SMAD1 signaling in medaka embryonic stem-like cells and blastula embryos

T. U. Wagner, M. Kraeussling, L. M. Fedorov, C. Reiss, B. Kneitz, M. Schartl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The activation and transcriptional activity of signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is essential for maintaining mouse embryonic stem (ES) cell cultures in an undifferentiated state. However, reports from human and monkey ES-cell culture suggest that STAT3 is dispensable for pluripotency in these systems. At the same time, BMP signaling via smad1 was shown to be able to counteract STAT3 signaling in murine ES-cell cultures, while it influences differentiation in multifaceted ways in other cellular contexts. Hence, the question arises whether the signaling situation found in mice or primates and human ES-cells represent the rule or the exception. With this study, we want to contribute an answer to this question from an evolutionary perspective. Therefore, we analyzed the expression and activation status of the Medaka (Oryzias latipes) STAT3 and SMAD1 in Medaka ES-cell-like cultures and their in vivo counterpart, the Medaka blastula embryo. While SMAD signaling is active in the culture system as well as in blastula embryos, our results indicate that STAT3 is inactive and can thus not be involved in pluripotency control of blastula cells or their derived pluripotent in vitro counterparts. These results suggest that the signaling pathways active in the mouse ES-cell culture system represent the exception, while inactivity of STAT3 is apparently the rule in vertebrate ES-cell cultures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-160
Number of pages10
JournalStem Cells and Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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