Generation of Stable Pluripotent Stem Cells From NOD Mouse Tail-Tip Fibroblasts

  1. Paul J. Verma1
  1. 1Centre for Reproduction and Development, Monash Institute of Medical Research, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2Immunology and Diabetes Unit, St. Vincent’s Institute, Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia
  3. 3Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, School of Biomedical Sciences, Monash University, Victoria, Australia
  1. Corresponding author: Paul J. Verma, paul.verma{at}


OBJECTIVE The NOD mouse strain has been widely used to investigate the pathology and genetic susceptibility for type 1 diabetes. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from this unique mouse strain would enable new strategies for investigating type 1 diabetes pathogenesis and potential therapeutic targets. The objective of this study was to determine whether somatic fibroblasts from NOD mice could be reprogrammed to become iPSCs, providing an alternative source of stem cells for the production of genetically modified NOD cells and mice.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Adult tail-tip fibroblasts from male NOD mice were reprogrammed by retroviral transduction of the coding sequences of three transcription factors, OCT4, SOX2, and KLF4, in combination with a histone deacetylase inhibitor, valproic acid.

RESULTS Eighteen NOD iPSC lines were generated, and three of these cell lines were further characterized. All three cell lines exhibited silencing of the three reprogramming transgenes and reactivation of endogenous pluripotent markers (OCT4, SOX2, NANOG, REX1, and SSEA1). These NOD iPSCs readily differentiated in vitro to form embryoid bodies and in vivo by teratoma formation in immunodeficient mice. Moreover, NOD iPSCs were successfully transfected with a reporter transgene and were capable of contributing to the inner cell mass of C57BL/6 blastocysts, leading to the generation of a chimeric mouse.

CONCLUSIONS Adult tail-tip fibroblasts from NOD mice can be reprogrammed, without constitutive ectopic expression of transcription factors, to produce iPSCs that exhibit classic mouse embryonic stem cell (ESC) features. These NOD iPSCs can be maintained and propagated under normal ESC culture conditions to produce genetically altered cell lines, differentiated cells, and chimeric mice.


  • Received November 5, 2010.
  • Accepted February 26, 2011.

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