Derivation and characterization of pluripotent cell lines from pig embryos of different origins

Tiziana A L Brevini, Valentina Tosetti, Mattia Crestan, Stefania Antonini, Fulvio Gandolfi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) hold great promise for therapeutic use and represent a unique tool for investigating the process of self-renewal and differentiation. The properties that make ESCs unique are their capacity of unlimited self-renewal coupled with the property of re-entering the developmental process if returned inside a blastocyst. Such plasticity enable ESCs to form all embryonic tissues including germ cells. However, these remarkable properties, at present, have been demonstrated only for mouse ESCs even if cells with somehow more limited capacities have been derived in many different species including humans. The isolation of pluripotent embryonic cells lines from human embryos marked a crucial change of perspective in evaluating the properties defining an embryonic stem cell lines moving the focus from the generation of a germ-line chimera, obviously not feasible nor desirable in human, to the capacity of these cells to differentiate both in vivo and in vitro in fully mature and functional cell types of all kinds. Therefore, ESCs properties in species different from the mouse are being reassessed and re-evaluated, in view of their potential use as experimental models for the development of clinical applications. Among the species that may play a useful role in this field, the pig has a long-standing history as a prime animal model for pre-clinical biomedical applications and therefore, pig ESCs are attracting renewed interest. In this review, we will summarize the current knowledge on this topic and will contrast the relatively limited data available in this species with the much larger wealth of information available for mouse and human ESCs, in an attempt to assess whether or not pig ESCs can actually become a useful tool in the fast growing field of cell therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-63
Number of pages10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2007


  • Cell plasticity
  • Embryonic stem cells
  • Nanog
  • Parthenogenesis
  • Pluripotency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Derivation and characterization of pluripotent cell lines from pig embryos of different origins'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this