Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) harbor the capacity of unlimited self-renewal and multilineage differentiation potential, which are crucial for basic research and biomedical science. Establishment of PSCs with defined features was previously reported from mice and humans, while generation of stable large animal PSCs has experienced a relatively long trial stage and only recently has made breakthroughs. Pigs are regarded as ideal animal models for their similarities in physiology and anatomy to humans. Generation of porcine PSCs would provide cell resources for basic research, genetic engineering, animal breeding, and cultured meat. In this review, we summarize the progress on the derivation of porcine PSCs and reprogramed cells and elucidate the mechanisms of pluripotency changes during pig embryo development. This will be beneficial for understanding the divergence and conservation between different species involved in embryo development and the pluripotent-regulated signaling pathways. Finally, we also discuss the promising future applications of stable porcine PSCs. Even though challenges remain in the field of porcine stem cells, these progress and viewpoints would provide guidance in future research direction.
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Vol. 107 • No. 1