2023 55 B3

In Utero Injection Model of Sacrococcygeal Teratomas

By: Marco Cordero

Department: Biology

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Lily Chen

Sacrococcygeal Teratomas (SCTs) are tumors that grow on the base of the spine in fetuses and are the most common type of tumor in infants. SCTs are thought to arise from primordial germ cells (PGCs) that mis-migrate to ectopic locations. PGCs can revert to embryonic stem cells (EGCs) which are pluripotent and can form teratomas. While it is not possible ethically to culture EGCs and PGCs, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) can be used to create PGC-like cells (PGC-LCs). PGC-LCs can be reverted to EGC- like cells (EGC-LCs) and by using a mouse embryo injection model, we can inject EGC-LCs and PGC-LCs to create a model for SCTs. The in utero injection mouse model is an excellent way to view in vivo how stem cells differentiate. In this case it will give insight to how EGC-LCs and PGC-LCs may give rise to SCTs. Embryos are going to be collected on the day of injection and two days after injection. Pups will also be collected at birth and forty days after birth. After collection, the iDISCO method will be used, which combines immunolabeling and organic solvent-based tissue clearing to characterize PGC-LC reversion to EGC-LCs and teratoma formation. Immunostaining will be viewed via confocal microscope with computational clearing. Due to the large amount of data captured the image processing software, Imaris, will be used to process the images. We expect that cells survive initial transplantation, PGC-LCs reverting to EGC-LCs, and EGC-LCs forming teratomas. The information from this study will give us insight on the PGC-LC to EGC-LC reversion process and SCT formation.