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Stem Cells. 2011 Oct;29(10):1640-3.

Brief report: chimeric pigs produced from induced pluripotent stem cells demonstrate germline transmission and no evidence of tumor formation in young pigs.

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  • 1Regenerative Bioscience Center, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, USA.


The recent development of porcine induced pluripotent stem cells (piPSCs) capable of generating chimeric animals, a feat not previously accomplished with embryonic stem cells or iPSCs in a species outside of rodents, has opened the doors for in-depth study of iPSC tumorigenicity, autologous transplantation, and other key aspects to safely move iPSC therapies to the clinic. The study of iPSC tumorigenicity is critical as previous research in the mouse showed that iPSC-derived chimeras possessed large numbers of tumors, rising significant concerns about the safety of iPSC therapies. Additionally, piPSCs capable of generating germline chimeras could revolutionize the transgenic animal field by enabling complex genetic manipulations (e.g., knockout or knockin of genes) to produce biomedically important large animal models or improve livestock production. In this study, we demonstrate for the first time in a nonrodent species germline transmission of iPSCs with the live birth of a transgenic piglet that possessed genome integration of the human POU5F1 and NANOG genes. In addition, gross and histological examination of necropsied porcine chimeras at 2, 7, and 9 months showed that these animals lacked tumor formation and demonstrated normal development. Tissue samples positive for human POU5F1 DNA showed no C-MYC gene expression, further implicating C-MYC as a cause of tumorigenicity. The development of germline-competent porcine iPSCs that do not produce tumors in young chimeric animals presents an attractive and powerful translational model to study the efficacy and safety of stem cell therapies and perhaps to efficiently produce complex transgenic animals.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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