Pluripotent stem cells and reprogramming in human and farm animals


  • Jernej OGOREVC Univ. of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Fac. Dept. of Animal Science, Groblje 3, SI-1230 Domžale, Slovenia
  • Peter DOVČ Univ. of Ljubljana, Biotechnical Fac. Dept. of Animal Science, Groblje 3, SI-1230 Domžale, Slovenia



The importance of pluripotent cells, which can differentiate in to different cell lineages and form an entire organism, is fundamental for understanding developmental biology including emerging diseases and offers potential for numerous applications in medicine and biotechnology. However, molecular mechanisms behind differentiation and de-differentiation (reprogramming) remain largely unknown. Until recently it was possible to obtain stem cells only from embryos in the early stages of development (embryonic stem cells – ESCs) or by using very inefficient and technically difficult method of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) that requires use of egg cells (oocytes). Both methods raised ethical concerns, especially when using human biological material. On the other hand, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) can be generated by direct reprogramming of differentiated adult somatic cells. iPSCs show similarities to ESCs and represent ethically acceptable and almost unlimited source of individuum-specific pluripotent cells. iPSCs are particularly important for development of regenerative medicine, disease modelling, drug development and testing, basic research, generation of transgenic animals, and for conservation of endangered species. However, before it is possible to exploit their potential in full, reprogramming processes should be investigated and understood in details and safe methods developed – that will enable production of genetically and epigenetically stable cells without tumorigenic potential. This article provides an overview of the field of iPSCs and addresses some of the latest achievements and applications of pluripotent cells in human and farm animals. 


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17. 12. 2012



Review Article

How to Cite

OGOREVC, J., & DOVČ, P. (2012). Pluripotent stem cells and reprogramming in human and farm animals. Acta Agriculturae Slovenica, 100(2), 89–95.

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