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The role of lipids in genome integrity and pluripotency.

Pluripotent stem cells (PSCs), comprising embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), offer immense potential for regenerative medicine due to their ability to differentiate into all cell types of the adult body. A critical aspect of harnessing this potential is understanding their metabolic requirements during derivation, maintenance, and differentiation in vitro. Traditional culture methods using fetal bovine serum often lead to issues such as heterogeneous cell populations and diminished pluripotency. Although the chemically-defined 2i/LIF medium has provided solutions to some of these challenges, prolonged culturing of these cells, especially female ESCs, raises concerns related to genome integrity. This review discusses the pivotal role of lipids in genome stability and pluripotency of stem cells. Notably, the introduction of lipid-rich albumin, AlbuMAX, into the 2i/LIF culture medium offers a promising avenue for enhancing the genomic stability and pluripotency of cultured ESCs. We further explore the unique characteristics of lipid-induced pluripotent stem cells (LIP-ESCs), emphasizing their potential in regenerative medicine and pluripotency research.

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