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Stem Cells International
Volume 2016, Article ID 4736159, 6 pages
Research Article

Factor-Reduced Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Efficiently Differentiate into Neurons Independent of the Number of Reprogramming Factors

1Division for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Department of Neurology, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany
2Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD), Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany
3German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Research Site Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany
4Hans Schöler Stem Cell Research Center (HSSCRC), Max Planck Partner Group-MBL, School of Life Sciences, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Ulsan, Republic of Korea
5Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine, Münster, Germany
6Department of Neurology, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany

Received 5 November 2015; Revised 29 December 2015; Accepted 6 January 2016

Academic Editor: Yupo Ma

Copyright © 2016 Andreas Hermann et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Reprogramming of somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) by overexpression of the transcription factors OCT4, SOX2, KLF4, and c-Myc holds great promise for the development of personalized cell replacement therapies. In an attempt to minimize the risk of chromosomal disruption and to simplify reprogramming, several studies demonstrated that a reduced set of reprogramming factors is sufficient to generate iPSC. We recently showed that a reduction of reprogramming factors in murine cells not only reduces reprogramming efficiency but also may worsen subsequent differentiation. To prove whether this is also true for human cells, we compared the efficiency of neuronal differentiation of iPSC generated from fetal human neural stem cells with either one (OCT4; ) or two (OCT4, KLF4; ) reprogramming factors with iPSC produced from human fibroblasts using three () or four reprogramming factors (). After four weeks of coculture with PA6 stromal cells, neuronal differentiation of and was as efficient as or . We conclude that a reduction of reprogramming factors in human cells does reduce reprogramming efficiency but does not alter subsequent differentiation into neural lineages. This is of importance for the development of future application of iPSC in cell replacement therapies.