Opening the "Black Box" Underlying Barriers to the Use of Canine Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells: A Narrative Review

Stem Cells Dev. 2023 Jun;32(11-12):271-291. doi: 10.1089/scd.2022.0300. Epub 2023 Apr 17.


Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are produced by resetting the epigenetic and transcriptional landscapes of somatic cells to express the endogenous pluripotency network and revert them back to an undifferentiated state. The reduced ethical concerns associated with iPSCs and their capacity for extensive self-renewal and differentiation make them an unparalleled resource for drug discovery, disease modeling, and novel therapies. Canines (c) share many human diseases and environmental exposures, making them a superior translational model for drug screening and investigating human pathologies compared to other mammals. However, well-defined protocols for legitimate ciPSC production are lacking. Problems during canine somatic cell reprogramming (SCR) yield putative ciPSCs with incomplete pluripotency, at very low efficiencies. Despite the value of ciPSCs, the molecular mechanisms underlying their unsuccessful production and how these may be addressed have not been fully elucidated. Factors, including cost, safety, and feasibility, may also limit the widespread clinical adoption of ciPSCs for treating canine disease. The purpose of this narrative review is to identify barriers to canine SCR on molecular and cellular levels, using comparative research to inform potential solutions to their use in both research and clinical contexts. Current research is opening new doors for the application of ciPSCs in regenerative medicine for the mutual benefit of veterinary and human medicine.

Keywords: canine; canine induced pluripotent stem cell; cell therapy; epigenetic; reprogramming; stem cell.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cellular Reprogramming / genetics
  • Dogs
  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells*
  • Mammals