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Ai Z.,Yunnan Key Laboratory of Primate Biomedicine Research | Xiang Z.,Yunnan Key Laboratory of Primate Biomedicine Research | Li Y.,Southwest University | Liu G.,Yunnan Key Laboratory of Primate Biomedicine Research | And 8 more authors.
Biomaterials | Year: 2016

Non-human primates provide optimal models for the development of stem cell therapies. Although somatic cells have been converted into neural stem/progenitor cells, it is unclear whether telencephalic neuroepithelial stem cells (NESCs) with stable properties can be generated from fibroblasts in primate. Here we report that a combination of transcription factors (Oct4, Sox2, Klf4) with a new culture medium induces rhesus monkey fibroblasts into NESCs, which can develop into miniature neural tube (NT)-like structures at a cell level. Furthermore, single induced NESCs (iNESCs) can generate later-stage 3D-NTs after grown on matrigel in suspension culture. iNESCs express NT cell markers, have a unique gene expression pattern biasing towards telencephalic patterning, and give rise to cortical neurons. Via transplantation, single iNESCs can extensively survive, regenerate myelinated neuron axons and synapse structures in adult monkey striatum and cortex, and differentiate into cortical neurons. Successful transplantation is closely associated with graft regions and grafted cell identities. The ability to generate defined and transplantable iNESCs from primate fibroblasts under a defined condition with predictable fate choices will facilitate disease modeling and cell therapy. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

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