Copyright ©The Author(s) 2019. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Stem Cells. Aug 26, 2019; 11(8): 491-505
Published online Aug 26, 2019. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v11.i8.491
Induced pluripotent stem cells throughout the animal kingdom: Availability and applications
Laís Vicari de Figueiredo Pessôa, Fabiana Fernandes Bressan, Kristine Karla Freude
Laís Vicari de Figueiredo Pessôa, Kristine Karla Freude, Group of Stem Cell Models for Studies of Neurodegenerative Diseases, Section for Pathobiological Sciences, Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg 1870, Denmark
Fabiana Fernandes Bressan, Department of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Animal Science and Food Engineering, University of São Paulo, Pirassununga 13635-000, São Paulo, Brazil
Author contributions: All authors contributed equally to data collection, preparation of tables and drafting of the manuscript; all authors read and approved the final version of the manuscript.
Supported by Independent Research Fund Denmark (FTP, grant NO. 109799) and FAPESP (grant NO. 2015/26818-5).
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors declare they do not have conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this article.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Kristine Karla Freude, BSc, DPhil, MSc, PhD, Associate Professor, Group of Stem Cell Models for Studies of Neurodegenerative Diseases, Section for Pathobiological Sciences, Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Grønnegårdsvej 7, Frederiksberg 1870, Denmark.
Telephone: +45-25572261
Received: February 23, 2019
Peer-review started: February 26, 2019
First decision: June 5, 2019
Revised: June 18, 2019
Accepted: June 20, 2019
Article in press: June 20, 2019
Published online: August 26, 2019

Up until the mid 2000s, the capacity to generate every cell of an organism was exclusive to embryonic stem cells. In 2006, researchers Takahashi and Yamanaka developed an alternative method of generating embryonic-like stem cells from adult cells, which they coined induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Such iPSCs possess most of the advantages of embryonic stem cells without the ethical stigma associated with derivation of the latter. The possibility of generating “custom-made” pluripotent cells, ideal for patient-specific disease models, alongside their possible applications in regenerative medicine and reproduction, has drawn a lot of attention to the field with numbers of iPSC studies published growing exponentially. IPSCs have now been generated for a wide variety of species, including but not limited to, mouse, human, primate, wild felines, bovines, equines, birds and rodents, some of which still lack well-established embryonic stem cell lines. The paucity of robust characterization of some of these iPSC lines as well as the residual expression of transgenes involved in the reprogramming process still hampers the use of such cells in species preservation or medical research, underscoring the requirement for further investigations. Here, we provide an extensive overview of iPSC generated from a broad range of animal species including their potential applications and limitations.

Keywords: Pluripotency, Embryonic, Stem cell, Reprogramming, Animal, Wild, Induced pluripotency

Core tip: Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) have opened up the possibility of converting literally any mature cell type into an embryonic like pluripotent state. This procedure has had a large impact on biomedical sciences for patient specific disease modeling, cell-type specific differentiation and regenerative medicine with or without gene editing. These advances are clearly not restricted to human iPSCs, and indeed it was mouse iPSCs that were derived first. In this review we will provide a comprehensive overview of iPSC generated throughout the animal kingdom as well as an elaboration on their possible applications and limitations.