Bridging naïve and primed pluripotency

Pluripotent cells generate all types of cells in the body and have largely been classified dichotomously into two types: naïve and primed. Arguing against a binary classification system, a study now discovers a unique transition state between naïve and primed pluripotency and describes the signals that control this transition.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: A continuum of pluripotent states in the early mouse embryo.


  1. 1.

    Loh, K. M., Lim, B. & Ang, L. T. Physiol. Rev. 95, 245–295 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Nichols, J. & Smith, A. Cell Stem Cell 4, 487–492 (2009).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Brons, I. G. M. et al. Nature 448, 191–195 (2007).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Tesar, P. J. et al. Nature 448, 196–199 (2007).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Hayashi, K., Ohta, H., Kurimoto, K., Aramaki, S. & Saitou, M. Cell 146, 519–532 (2011).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Neagu, A. et al. Nat. Cell Biol. (2020).

  7. 7.

    Cornacchia, D. et al. Cell Stem Cell 25, 120–136.e10 (2019).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Du, P. et al. Cell Stem Cell 22, 851–864.e5 (2018).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Kalkan, T. et al. Development 144, 1221–1234 (2017).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Bedzhov, I. & Zernicka-Goetz, M. Cell 156, 1032–1044 (2014).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Pelton, T. A., Sharma, S., Schulz, T. C., Rathjen, J. & Rathjen, P. D. J. Cell Sci. 115, 329–339 (2002).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Zheng, Y. et al. Nature 573, 421–425 (2019).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Clevers, H., Loh, K. M. & Nusse, R. Science 346, 1248012 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Loh, K. M. et al. Cell 166, 451–467 (2016).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Varol, C., Mildner, A. & Jung, S. Annu. Rev. Immunol. 33, 643–675 (2015).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Kyle M. Loh.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Dundes, C.E., Loh, K.M. Bridging naïve and primed pluripotency. Nat Cell Biol 22, 513–515 (2020).

Download citation


Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing