Optimization of culture conditions for the derivation and propagation of baboon (Papio anubis) induced pluripotent stem cells

Christopher S. Navara, Shital Chaudhari, John R. McCarrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) offer the possibility of cell replacement therapies using patient-matched cells to treat otherwise intractable diseases and debilitations. To successfully realize this potential, several factors must be optimized including i) selection of the appropriate cell type and numbers to transplant, ii) determination of the means of transplantation and the location into which the transplanted cells should be delivered, and iii) demonstration of the safety and efficacy of the cell replacement protocol to mitigate each targeted disease state. A majority of diseases or debilitations likely to be targeted by cell-based therapeutic approaches represent complex conditions or physiologies manifest predominantly in primates including humans. Nonhuman primates afford the most clinically relevant model system for biomedical studies and testing of cell-based therapies. Baboons have 92% genomic similarity with humans overall and especially significant similarities in their immunogenetic system, rendering this species a particularly valuable model for testing procedures involving cell transplants into living individuals. To maximize the utility of the baboon model, standardized protocols must be developed for the derivation of induced pluripotent stem cells from living adults and the long-term maintenance of these cells in culture. Here we tested four commercially available culture systems (ReproFF, mTeSR1, E8 and Pluristem) for competence to maintain baboon iPSCs in a pluripotent state over multiple passages, and to support the derivation of new lines of baboon iPSCs. Of these four media only Pluristem was able to maintain baboon pluripotency as assessed by morphological characteristics, immunocytochemistry and RT-qPCR. Pluristem also facilitated the derivation of new lines of iPSCs from adult baboon somatic cells, which had previously not been accomplished. We derived multiple iPS cell lines from adult baboon peripheral blood mononuclear cells cultured in Pluristem. These were validated by expression of the pluripotency markers OCT4, NANOG, SOX2, SSEA4 and TRA181, as well as the ability to differentiate into tissues from all three germ layers when injected into immunocompromised mice. These findings further advance the utility of the baboon as an ideal preclinical model system for optimizing iPS cell-based, patient-specific replacement therapies in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0193195
JournalPloS one
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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