Embryonic stem cells are defined by their pluripotent status, which allows them to differentiate toward all cell types of an adult organism. This pluripotency can be characterized through many parameters, ranging from morphological traits, over certain enzymatic activities, to the expression of specific pluripotency factors, taken into account that these parameters may vary depending on the pluripotent stem cell type. As such, considerable differences are seen between human and mouse embryonic stem cell (ESC), or more generally stated, between primed and naïve pluripotent stem cells. This chapter offers an overview of the markers involved and the molecular biology techniques to monitor them during both ESC culture maintenance or differentiation experiments.
Part of the book: Pluripotent Stem Cells