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Induced pluripotent stem cells from highly endangered species


For some highly endangered species there are too few reproductively capable animals to maintain adequate genetic diversity, and extraordinary measures are necessary to prevent extinction. We report generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from two endangered species: a primate, the drill, Mandrillus leucophaeus and the nearly extinct northern white rhinoceros, Ceratotherium simum cottoni. iPSCs may eventually facilitate reintroduction of genetic material into breeding populations.

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Figure 1: Characterization of drill iPSCs.
Figure 2: Characterization of northern white rhinoceros iPSCs.


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I.F.B.-N. was supported by an unrestricted gift from the Esther O'Keefe Foundation, and S.C.M. was supported by an internship from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (TB1-01186). The research was supported by the O'Keefe Foundation and the Millipore Foundation. We thank our collaborator, M. Parast, for the histopathological examination of the teratomas, I. Slavin, X. Liao and other members of the Loring lab for helpful discussions and assistance, and G. Ben-Nun and D. Barker for support.

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Authors and Affiliations



J.F.L., O.A.R. and I.F.B.-N. conceived the study. I.F.B.-N. designed and performed the experiments. S.C.M. assisted with tissue-culture work. O.A.R., M.L.H. and S.J.C. generated the fibroblast cell lines and karyotyped the cells. H.T.T., I.G. and T.R.L. assisted with teratoma formation. Y.-C.W. performed glycomic profiling. L.C.L. contributed to experiment design. I.F.B.-N. and J.F.L. wrote the manuscript with input from all authors.

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Correspondence to Jeanne F Loring.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Supplementary Figures 1–11, Supplementary Table 1 (PDF 2590 kb)

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Friedrich Ben-Nun, I., Montague, S., Houck, M. et al. Induced pluripotent stem cells from highly endangered species. Nat Methods 8, 829–831 (2011).

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