Cell surface markers for the identification and study of human naive pluripotent stem cells

Oliver Trusler, Ziyi Huang, Jacob Goodwin, Andrew L. Laslett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Characterisation of mouse pluripotent stem cells has revealed two distinct pluripotent states, naive and primed, that maintain characteristics of the pre and post implanted epiblast respectively. Recent studies have developed several culture systems that seek to recapitulate the naive phenomenon in human pluripotent stem cells. Therefore, robust methods to isolate these cells will be fundamental to assess their potential in modelling human development and disease. Here we review current methods for human naive pluripotent culture and collate a list of cell surface antigens that have been identified as markers to differentiate naive from primed human pluripotent stem cells. While these culture systems do display marker variability, and not all antigens mentioned were assessed in all methods, this review provides a resource for researchers of the human naive pluripotent stem cell state. SSEA-4, SSEA-3, CD24, CD75, CD7, CD77, CD130/GP130, CD57, CD90 and NLGN4X were all found to have a +/− expression profile in at least 2 methods, while +/− expression of Tra-1-81, CDH3, CD172a, CD107b, CD229 was reported in one method. Often it was reported that naive and primed cells could be defined using a low/medium/high expression of the following antigens TRA-1-60, PCDH1, GPR64, MHC Class I, however these markers were more likely to display expression pattern differences between methods. Studies using mouse naive cells indicate that they may have benefits over primed cells in modelling development and disease, and while it is yet to be determined if the same can be said about a human naive state, tools to identify this population should greatly further the field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-43
Number of pages8
JournalStem Cell Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Antibodies
  • Cell surface markers
  • Human
  • Naive
  • Pluripotent stem cells

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