Human-Mouse Chimerism Validates Human Stem Cell Pluripotency

Victoria L Mascetti, Roger A Pedersen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

80 Citations (Scopus)


Pluripotent stem cells are defined by their capacity to differentiate into all three tissue layers that comprise the body. Chimera formation, generated by stem cell transplantation to the embryo, is a stringent assessment of stem cell pluripotency. However, the ability of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) to form embryonic chimeras remains in question. Here we show using a stage-matching approach that human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) and human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) have the capacity to participate in normal mouse development when transplanted into gastrula-stage embryos, providing in vivo functional validation of hPSC pluripotency. hiPSCs and hESCs form interspecies chimeras with high efficiency, colonize the embryo in a manner predicted from classical developmental fate mapping, and differentiate into each of the three primary tissue layers. This faithful recapitulation of tissue-specific fate post-transplantation underscores the functional potential of hPSCs and provides evidence that human-mouse interspecies developmental competency can occur.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-72
Number of pages6
JournalCell Stem Cell
Issue number1
Early online date17 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Animals
  • Body Patterning
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Lineage
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chimerism
  • Embryonic Stem Cells/cytology
  • Gastrula/physiology
  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/cytology
  • Mice
  • Regenerative Medicine
  • Species Specificity


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