Derivation and Characterization of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells from Equine Fibroblasts

Amandine Breton, Ruchi Sharma, Andrea Catalina Diaz, Alea Gillian Parham, Audrey Graham, Claire Neil, Christopher Bruce Whitelaw, Elspeth Milne, Francesc Xavier Donadeu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pluripotent stem cells offer unprecedented potential not only for human medicine but also for veterinary medicine, particularly in relation to the horse. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are particularly promising, as they are functionally similar to embryonic stem cells and can be generated in vitro in a patient-specific manner. In this study, we report the generation of equine iPSCs from skin fibroblasts obtained from a foal and reprogrammed using viral vectors coding for murine Oct4, Sox2, c-Myc, and Klf4 sequences. The reprogrammed cell lines were morphologically similar to iPSCs reported from other species and could be stably maintained over more than 30 passages. Immunostaining and polymerase chain reaction analyses revealed that these cell lines expressed an array of endogenous markers associated with pluripotency, including OCT4, SOX2, NANOG, REX1, LIN28, SSEA1, SSEA4, and TRA1-60. Furthermore, under the appropriate conditions, the equine iPSCs readily formed embryoid bodies and differentiated in vitro into cells expressing markers of ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm, and when injected into immunodeficient mice, gave raise to tumors containing differentiated derivatives of the 3 germ layers. Finally, we also reprogrammed fibroblasts from a 2-year-old horse. The reprogrammed cells were similar to iPSCs derived from neonatal fibroblasts in terms of morphology, expression of pluripotency markers, and differentiation ability. The generation of these novel cell lines constitutes an important step toward the understanding of pluripotency in the horse, and paves the way for iPSC technology to potentially become a powerful research and clinical tool in veterinary biomedicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)611-621
Number of pages11
JournalStem Cells and Development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013


  • PIG


Dive into the research topics of 'Derivation and Characterization of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells from Equine Fibroblasts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this