Somatic reprogramming, which was first identified in rodents, remains poorly described in non-mammalian species. Here, we generated avian reprogrammed cells by reprogramming of chicken and duck primary embryonic fibroblasts. The efficient generation of long-term proliferating cells depends on the method of delivery of reprogramming factors and the addition of NANOG and LIN28 to the canonical OCT4, SOX2, KLF4, and c-MYC gene combination. The reprogrammed cells were positive for several key pluripotency-associated markers including alkaline phosphatase activity, telomerase activity, SSEA1 expression, and specific cell cycle and epigenetic markers. Upregulated endogenous pluripotency-associated genes included POU5F3 (POUV) and KLF4, whereas cells failed to upregulate NANOG and LIN28A. However, cells showed a tumorigenic propensity when injected into recipient embryos. In conclusion, although the somatic reprogramming process is active in avian primary cells, it needs to be optimized to obtain fully reprogrammed cells with similar properties to those of chicken embryonic stem cells.
Keywords: NANOG; avian species; blastoderm; chicken; duck; embryonic stem cells; embryos; phylogenic comparison; pluripotency; somatic reprogramming.
Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.