Direct reprogramming of adult somatic cells into other lineages: Past evidence and future perspectives

Monica Nizzardo, Chiara Simone, Marianna Falcone, Giulietta Riboldi, Giacomo P. Comi, Nereo Bresolin, Stefania Corti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Direct reprogramming of an adult cell into another differentiated lineage-such as fibroblasts into neurons, cardiomyocytes, or blood cells-without passage through an undifferentiated pluripotent stage is a new area of research that has recently emerged alongside stem cell technology and induced pluripotent stem cell reprogramming; indeed, this avenue of investigation has begun to play a central role in basic biological research and regenerative medicine. Even though the field seems new, its origins go back to the 1980s when it was demonstrated that differentiated adult cells can be converted into another cell lineage through the overexpression of transcription factors, establishing mature cell plasticity. Here, we retrace transdifferentiation experiments from the discovery of master control genes to recent in vivo reprogramming of one somatic cell into another from the perspective of possible applications for the development of new therapeutic approaches for human diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)921-944
Number of pages24
JournalCell Transplantation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Direct reprogramming
  • Gene expression
  • Transdifferentiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Transplantation
  • Biomedical Engineering


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