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Open Access SSEA4-Positive Pig Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Are Primed for Differentiation Into Neural Cells

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Abstract:

Neural cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have the potential for autologous cell therapies in treating patients with severe neurological disorders or injury. However, further study of efficacy and safety are needed in large animal preclinical models that have similar neural anatomy and physiology to humans such as the pig. The pig model for pluripotent stem cell therapy has been made possible for the first time with the development of pig iPSCs (piPSCs) capable of in vitro and in vivo differentiation into tissues of all three germ layers. Still, the question remains if piPSCs are capable of undergoing robust neural differentiation using a system similar to those being used with human iPSCs. In this study, we generated a new line of piPSCs from fibroblast cells that expressed pluripotency markers and were capable of embryoid body differentiation into all three germ layers. piPSCs demonstrated robust neural differentiation forming βIII-TUB/MAP2+ neurons, GFAP+ astrocytes, and O4+ oligodendrocytes and demonstrated strong upregulation of neural cell genes representative of all three major neural lineages of the central nervous system. In the presence of motor neuron signaling factors, piPSC-derived neurons showed expression of transcription factors associated with motor neuron differentiation (HB9 and ISLET1). Our findings demonstrate that SSEA4 expression is required for piPSCs to differentiate into neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes and furthermore develop specific neuronal subtypes. This indicates that the pigs can fill the need for a powerful model to study autologous neural iPSC therapies in a system similar to humans.

Keywords: Biomedical models; Induced pluripotent; Motor neuron; Neural differentiation

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3727/096368912X657279

Affiliations: Regenerative Bioscience Center, University of Georgia, Rhodes Center for Animal and Dairy Science, Athens, GA, USA

Publication date: June 1, 2013

More about this publication?
  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.
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