Mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and human foreskin fibroblasts (hFFs) are commonly used as feeder cells to maintain the pluripotent state of stem cells. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of MEF and hFF feeders on the cardiac differentiation. Two human embryonic and two induced pluripotent stem cell lines were cultured on MEF and hFF before cardiac differentiation. The expression of Brachyury T was higher in cell lines cultured on MEF, than if cultured on hFF, suggesting enhanced mesoderm formation. However, significant positive influence of MEF feeders on cardiac differentiation was only seen with one cell line. Further, the ability of hFF to maintain pluripotency of stem cells originally cultured on MEF was quite poor. In conclusion, the cells behaved differently whether cultured on hFF or MEF feeders. However, the influence of the feeder cells on differentiation was less than the difference observed between the cell lines.
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