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Vertebrates, including mammals, are considered to have evolved by whole genome duplications. Although some fish have been reported to be polyploids that have undergone additional genome duplication, there have been no reports of polyploid mammals due to abnormal development after implantation. Furthermore, as the number of physiologically existing tetraploid somatic cells is small, details of the functions of these ploidy-altered cells are not fully understood. In this present study, we aimed to clarify the details of the differentiation potency of tetraploids using tetraploid embryonic stem cells. To clarify the differentiation potency, we used mouse tetraploid embryonic stem cells derived from tetraploid embryos. We presented tetraploid embryonic stem cells differentiated into neural and osteocyte lineage in vitro and tetraploid cells that contributed to various tissues of chimeric embryos ubiquitously in vivo. These results revealed that mouse embryonic stem cells maintain differentiation potency after altering the ploidy. Our results provide an important basis for the differentiation dynamics of germ layers in mammalian polyploid embryogenesis.
Polyploids generated by natural whole genome duplication have served as a dynamic force in vertebrate evolution. As evidence for evolution, polyploid organisms exist generally, however there have been no reports of polyploid organisms in mammals. In mice, polyploid embryos under normal culture conditions normally develop to the blastocyst stage. Nevertheless, most tetraploid embryos degenerate after implantation, indicating that whole genome duplication produces harmful effects on normal development in mice. Most previous research on polyploidy has mainly focused on tetraploid embryos. Analysis of various ploidy outcomes is important to comprehend the effects of polyploidization on embryo development. The purpose of this present study was to discover the extent of the polyploidization effect on implantation and development in post-implantation embryos. This paper describes for the first time an octaploid embryo implanted in mice despite hyper-polyploidization, and indicates that these mammalian embryos have the ability to implant, and even develop, despite the harmfulness of extreme whole genome duplication.
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