Mammalian pluripotency is the ability to give rise to all somatic cells as well as the germ cells of an adult mammal. It is a unique feature of embryonic epiblast cells, existing only transiently, as cells pass through early developmental stages. By contrast, pluripotency can be captured and stabilized indefinitely in cell culture and can also be reactivated in differentiated cells via nuclear reprogramming. Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) are the in vitro carriers of pluripotency and they can inhabit discrete pluripotent states depending on the stage at which they were derived and their culture conditions. Here, and in the accompanying poster, we provide a summary of mammalian pluripotency both in vivo and in vitro, and highlight recent and future applications of PSCs for basic and translational research.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Work in the laboratory of J.C.I.B. was supported by The Moxie Foundation; the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust [2012-PG-MED002]; and the G. Harold and Leila Y. Mathers Charitable Foundation.
© 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
- Embryonic stem cells
- Pluripotent stem cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Developmental Biology