Overcoming barriers to reprogramming and differentiation in nonhuman primate induced pluripotent stem cells

Jacob J. Hemmi, Anuja Mishra, Peter J. Hornsby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) generated by cellular reprogramming from nonhuman primates (NHPs) are of great significance for regenerative medicine and for comparative biology. Autologously derived stem cells would theoretically avoid any risk of rejection due to host-donor mismatch and may bypass the need for immune suppression post-transplant. In order for these possibilities to be realized, reprogramming methodologies that were initially developed mainly for human cells must be translated to NHPs. NHP studies have typically used pluripotent cells generated from young animals and thus risk overlooking complications that may arise from generating iPS cells from donors of other ages. When reprogramming is extended to a wide range of NHP species, available donors may be middle-or old-aged. Here we have pursued these questions by generating iPS cells from donors across the life span of the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) and then subjecting them to a directed neural differentiation protocol. The differentiation potential of different clonal cell lines was assessed using the quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The results show that cells derived from older donors often showed less neural marker induction. These deficits were rescued by a 24h pretreatment of the cells with 0.5% dimethyl sulfoxide. Another NHP that plays a key role in biological research is the chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes). iPS cells generated from the chimpanzee can be of great interest in comparative in vitro studies. We investigated if similar deficits in differentiation potential might arise in chimpanzee iPS cells reprogrammed using various technologies. The results show that, while some deficits were observed in iPS cell clones generated using three different technologies, there was no clear association with the vector used. These deficits in differentiation were also prevented by a 24h pretreatment with 0.5% dimethyl sulfoxide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-162
Number of pages10
JournalPrimate Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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