Baboon induced pluripotent stem cell generation by piggyBac transposition of reprogramming factors
Clinical application of regenerative therapies using embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cells is within reach. Progress made during recent years has encouraged researchers to address remaining open questions in order to finally translate experimental cell replacement therapies into application in patients. To achieve this, studies in translationally relevant animal models are required to make the final step to the clinic. In this context, the baboon (Papio anubis) may represent a valuable nonhuman primate (NHP) model to test cell replacement therapies because of its close evolutionary relationship to humans and its large body size. In this study, we describe the reprogramming of adult baboon skin fibroblasts using the piggyBac transposon system. Via transposon-mediated overexpression of six reprogramming factors, we generated five baboon induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines. The iPSC lines were characterized with respect to alkaline phosphatase activity, pluripotency factor expression analysis, teratoma formation potential, and karyotype. Furthermore, after initial cocultivation with mouse embryonic fibroblasts, we were able to adapt iPSC lines to feeder-free conditions. In conclusion, we established a robust and efficient protocol for iPSC generation from adult baboon fibroblasts.