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Curr Protoc Stem Cell Biol 2007 Jun 01;Chapter 1:Unit 1D.5. doi: 10.1002/9780470151808.sc01d05s9.
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Isolation and differentiation of Xenopus animal cap cells.

Ariizumi T , Takahashi S , Chan TC , Ito Y , Michiue T , Asashima M .

Xenopus is used as a model animal for investigating the inductive events and organogenesis that occur during early vertebrate development. Given that they are easy to obtain in high numbers and are relatively large in size, Xenopus embryos are excellent specimens for performing manipulations such as microinjection and microsurgery. The animal cap, which is the area around the animal pole of the blastula, is destined to form the ectoderm during normal development. However, these cells retain pluripotentiality and upon exposure to specific inducers, the animal cap can differentiate into neural, mesodermal, and endodermal tissues. In this sense, the cells of the animal cap are equivalent to mammalian embryonic stem cells. In this unit, the isolation and differentiation of animal cap cells, the so-called animal cap assay, is described. Useful methods for analyzing the mechanism of animal cap differentiation at the molecular level are also described.

PubMed ID: 19382122
Article link: Curr Protoc Stem Cell Biol