Human and mouse induced pluripotent stem cells are differentially reprogrammed in response to kinase inhibitors

Stem Cells Dev. 2012 May 20;21(8):1287-98. doi: 10.1089/scd.2011.0283. Epub 2011 Oct 18.


Conventional human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), reprogrammed from somatic cells by induced expression of Oct4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc, are phenotypically different from mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs). In mice, culture in N2B27 serum-free 2i media (mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase and glycogen synthase kinase 3 inhibitors; PD0325901 and CHIR99021) plus leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) (2i+LIF medium) enriches for germline competent ESCs. Here, we demonstrate that flat-shaped hiPSC colonies can be reprogrammed into bowl-shaped multi-potent stem cells (2i-hiPSCs) by using 2i+LIF medium. Mechanical dissociation of 2i-hiPSC colonies enables stable maintenance for >20 passages. Importantly, gene expression profiling demonstrated that 2i-hiPSCs more closely resemble primitive neural stem cells (PNSCs). Notably, this 2i-induced phenotype was generated from conventional hiPSCs, but not human ESCs (hESCs), thus correlating with the observation of neuroectodermal SOX1-positive colonies in conventional hiPSCs, but not hESCs in 2i+LIF medium. Thus, 2i-hiPSCs, which are nonteratoma forming PNSCs, may represent a safe source of cells for neural research and regenerative medicine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Lineage / drug effects
  • Cellular Reprogramming / drug effects*
  • Culture Media / pharmacology
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / drug effects*
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / enzymology*
  • Leukemia Inhibitory Factor / pharmacology
  • Mice
  • Models, Biological
  • Multipotent Stem Cells / cytology
  • Multipotent Stem Cells / drug effects
  • Multipotent Stem Cells / enzymology
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / pharmacology*


  • Culture Media
  • Leukemia Inhibitory Factor
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors