Cartilage tissue engineering identifies abnormal human induced pluripotent stem cells

Sci Rep. 2013;3:1978. doi: 10.1038/srep01978.


Safety is the foremost issue in all human cell therapies, but human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) currently lack a useful safety indicator. Studies in chimeric mice have demonstrated that certain lines of iPSCs are tumorigenic; however a similar screen has not been developed for human iPSCs. Here, we show that in vitro cartilage tissue engineering is an excellent tool for screening human iPSC lines for tumorigenic potential. Although all human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and most iPSC lines tested formed cartilage safely, certain human iPSCs displayed a pro-oncogenic state, as indicated by the presence of secretory tumors during cartilage differentiation in vitro. We observed five abnormal iPSC clones amoungst 21 lines derived from five different reprogramming methods using three cellular origins. We conclude that in vitro cartilage tissue engineering is a useful approach to identify abnormal human iPSC lines.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cartilage / metabolism*
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / genetics
  • Chondrocytes / cytology
  • Chondrocytes / metabolism
  • Chondrogenesis / genetics
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / cytology
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / pathology*
  • Tissue Engineering*