Generation of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Lines from Tibetan Miniature Pig
M. A Esteban,
Induced pluripotent stem cell (iPS) technology appears to be a general strategy to generate pluripotent stem cells from any given mammalian species. So far, iPS cells have been reported for mouse, human, rat, and monkey. These four species have also established embryonic stem cell (ESC) lines that serve as the gold standard for pluripotency comparisons. Attempts have been made to generate porcine ESC by various means without success. Here we report the successful generation of pluripotent stem cells from fibroblasts isolated from the Tibetan miniature pig using a modified iPS protocol. The resulting iPS cell lines more closely resemble human ESC than cells from other species, have normal karyotype, stain positive for alkaline phosphatase, express high levels of ESC-like markers (Nanog, Rex1, Lin28, and SSEA4), and can differentiate into teratomas composed of the three germ layers. Because porcine physiology closely resembles human, the iPS cells reported here provide an attractive model to study certain human diseases or assess therapeutic applications of iPS in a large animal model.