Porcine pluripotent stem cells: progress, challenges and prospects
1. State Key Laboratory for Agrobiotechnology, College of Biological Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
2. Institute of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology/College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine/Key Laboratory of Agricultural Animal Genetics Breeding and Reproduction of Ministry of Education, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China
3. College of Veterinary Medicine/Shaanxi Centre of Stem Cells Engineering and Technology, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China
4. Key Laboratory of Animal Cellular and Genetic Engineering of Heilongjiang Province, College of Life Science, Northeast Agricultural University, Harbin 150030, China
Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) are characterized by their capacity for high self-renewal and multiple differentiation potential and include embryonic stem cells, embryonic germ cells and induced PSCs. PSCs provide a very suitable model for the studies of human diseases, drugs screening, regenerative medicine and developmental biology research. Pigs are considered as an ideal model for preclinical development of human xenotransplantation, therapeutic approaches and regenerative medicine because of their size and physiological similarity to humans. However, lack of knowledge about the derivation, characterization and pluripotency mechanisms of porcine PSCs hinders progress in these biotechnologies. In this review, we discuss the latest progress on porcine PSCs generation, evaluation criteria for pluripotency, the scientific and technical questions arising from these studies. We also introduce our perspectives on porcine PSC research, in the hope of providing new ideas for generating naive porcine PSCs and animal breeding.