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Publié le April 11, 2019 | Updated on April 11, 2019

Rabbit induced pluripotent stem cells : molecular and functional characterisation of the naive and primed states

Yann Tapponnier - Under the supervision of Pierre Savatier

Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) can self-renew at two distinct states, the naive and primed states. Many differences exist between these two states, the most striking is the unique ability of PSCs naïve to colonize the preimplantation embryo and form chimeras. The purpose of my doctoral project was to study pluripotency in rabbits. In this context, I initially manufactured and characterized induced pluripotent stem cells (RbiPSCs) and then evaluated their ability to colonize the embryo and form chimeras. Three RbiPSCs lines were obtained by rabbit fibroblasts reprogramming. Their molecular characterization revealed mixed characteristics, naïve and primed. However, functionally, they are unable to colonize the rabbit embryo, a feature of primed pluripotency. The second part of my doctoral project was to reprogram RbiPSCs to the naïve state. To this end, I have overexpressed Klf2 and Klf4, two genes belonging to the naïve pluripotency network and the mouse PSCs culture conditions. These new cell lines have a gene expression profile closer to that of the rabbit ICM, particularly due to the reactivation of specific markers of naïve pluripotency. Finally, the reverted cells have an increased capacity of colonization of the preimplantation embryo rabbit. My work represents the first example of pluripotent stem cells reprogramming toward the naive state in rabbits. The cells thus produced pave the way for the production of somatic and germline chimeras