Pluripotent embryonic germ cells can be isolated from the genital ridge of the developing mammalian fetus. EG cells closely resemble ES cell lines in the morphology of colonies, response to induced differentiation, and ability to create chimeric offspring. ES and EG cells are not the same in all respects. Differences exist in the conditions required for their isolation, culture, lifespan in vitro, and differentiation capacity. An important difference is genetic modifications that occur in the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) of primordial germ (PG) cells that result in erasure of genomic imprints. The DNA modifications that occur can compromise the developmental potential of the EG cells.
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