Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) have been successfully developed in many species. However, the establishment of bovine-induced pluripotent stem cells (biPSCs) has been challenging. Here we report the generation of biPSCs from bovine mesenchymal stem cells (bMSCs) by overexpression of lysine-specific demethylase 4A (KDM4A) and the other reprogramming factors OCT4, SOX2, KLF4, cMYC, LIN28, and NANOG (KdOSKMLN). These biPSCs exhibited silenced transgene expression at passage 10, and had prolonged self-renewal capacity for over 70 passages. The biPSCs have flat, primed-like PSC colony morphology in combined media of knockout serum replacement (KSR) and mTeSR, but switched to dome-shaped, naïve-like PSC colony morphology in mTeSR medium and 2i/LIF with single cell colonization capacity. These cells have comparable proliferation rate to the reported primed- or naïve-state human PSCs, with three-germ layer differentiation capacity and normal karyotype. Transcriptome analysis revealed a high similarity of biPSCs to reported bovine embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and embryos. The naïve-like biPSCs can be incorporated into mouse embryos, with the extended capacity of integration into extra-embryonic tissues. Finally, at least 24.5% cloning efficiency could be obtained in nuclear transfer (NT) experiment using late passage biPSCs as nuclear donors. Our report represents a significant advance in the establishment of bovine PSCs.
Keywords: bovine; differentiation; embryo aggregation; induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs); nuclear transfer (NT); pluripotency; reprogramming.