Master of Science (MS)


Animal Science (Animal, Dairy, and Poultry Sciences)

Document Type



Numerous studies have contributed to the induction of pluripotency in an abundance of cell types; however, transfection techniques and efficiency have yielded undesirable outcomes. Traditionally, the use of viral vectors as a mode of transmission has proven to be efficient in the induction of pluripotency transcription factors in mammalian cells. The increasing concern is random insertion of viral components within the host genome due to the viral mode of replication. The delivery of messenger RNA by cationic lipid delivery vehicles circumvents the viral concerns and provides an efficient and safe mode of reprogramming. Synthetic mRNA can be used to initiate endogenous gene expression while maintaining cellular viability in bovine somatic cells. In this study, bovine fetal fibroblast cells were initially transfected with In Vitro Transcribed (IVT) RNA expressing Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) to determine adequate transfection parameters. Mammalian expression vectors, encoded with either GFP or pluripotency associated transcription factors OCT4, SOX2, c-MYC, or KLF4, were obtained from a plasmid repository and used as IVT templates. The mRNA was produced in vitro to include a 5’ cap as well as a 3’ polyA tail in order to mimic in vivo mRNA packaging. Primary cultures of bovine fetal fibroblasts were transfected with ivtRNA by way of a cation lipid delivery vehicle, Lipofectamine, for endocytotic uptake. This process allows the mRNA to bypass the phospholipid bilayer and enter the cell. The incorporation of modified bases during the in vitro transcription process was adopted to reduce cell immune response. Addition of small molecules to enhance the reprogramming process was evaluated as well. The success of ivtRNA transfection in bovine fetal fibroblast cells was determined through the measurement of cellular viability, mean fluorescence by flow cytometry under different concentrations of mRNA, and gene analysis measured by quantitative PCR.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Student has submitted appropriate documentation to restrict access to LSU for 365 days after which the document will be released for worldwide access.

Committee Chair

Bondioli, Kenneth R