Efficient derivation of stable primed pluripotent embryonic stem cells from bovine blastocysts

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Feb 27;115(9):2090-2095. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1716161115. Epub 2018 Feb 9.


Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are derived from the inner cell mass of preimplantation blastocysts. From agricultural and biomedical perspectives, the derivation of stable ESCs from domestic ungulates is important for genomic testing and selection, genome engineering, and modeling human diseases. Cattle are one of the most important domestic ungulates that are commonly used for food and bioreactors. To date, however, it remains a challenge to produce stable pluripotent bovine ESC lines. Employing a culture system containing fibroblast growth factor 2 and an inhibitor of the canonical Wnt-signaling pathway, we derived pluripotent bovine ESCs (bESCs) with stable morphology, transcriptome, karyotype, population-doubling time, pluripotency marker gene expression, and epigenetic features. Under this condition bESC lines were efficiently derived (100% in optimal conditions), were established quickly (3-4 wk), and were simple to propagate (by trypsin treatment). When used as donors for nuclear transfer, bESCs produced normal blastocyst rates, thereby opening the possibility for genomic selection, genome editing, and production of cattle with high genetic value.

Keywords: bovine; embryonic stem cell; inner cell mass; pluripotency.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers
  • Blastocyst / physiology*
  • Cattle / embryology*
  • Cell Culture Techniques / veterinary
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cloning, Organism
  • Embryo Culture Techniques / veterinary
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / physiology
  • Nuclear Transfer Techniques / veterinary
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / physiology*


  • Biomarkers