, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp 128-140

Reprogrammed mouse astrocytes retain a “memory” of tissue origin and possess more tendencies for neuronal differentiation than reprogrammed mouse embryonic fibroblasts

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Direct reprogramming of a variety of somatic cells with the transcription factors Oct4 (also called Pou5f1), Sox2 with either Klf4 and Myc or Lin28 and Nanog generates the induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) with marker similarity to embryonic stem cells. However, the difference between iPSCs derived from different origins is unclear. In this study, we hypothesized that reprogrammed cells retain a “memory” of their origins and possess additional potential of related tissue differentiation. We reprogrammed primary mouse astrocytes via ectopic retroviral expression of OCT3/4, Sox2, Klf4 and Myc and found the iPSCs from mouse astrocytes expressed stem cell markers and formed teratomas in SCID mice containing derivatives of all three germ layers similar to mouse embryonic stem cells besides semblable morphologies. To test our hypothesis, we compared embryonic bodies (EBs) formation and neuronal differentiation between iPSCs from mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFsiPSCs) and iPSCs from mouse astrocytes (mAsiPSCs). We found that mAsiPSCs grew slower and possessed more potential for neuronal differentiation compared to MEFsiPSCs. Our results suggest that mAsiPSCs retain a “memory” of the central nervous system, which confers additional potential upon neuronal differentiation.