Prairie voles show strong pair bonding with their mating partners, and they demonstrate parental behavior toward their infants, indicating that the prairie vole is a unique animal model for analysis of molecular mechanisms of social behavior. Until a recent study, the signaling pathway of oxytocin was thought to be critical for the social behavior of prairie voles, but neuron-specific functional research may be necessary to identify the molecular mechanisms of social behavior. Prairie vole pluripotent stem cells of high quality are essential to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of social behaviors. Generation of high-quality induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) would help to establish a genetically modified prairie vole, including knockout and knock-in models, based on the pluripotency of iPSCs. Thus, we attempted to establish high-quality prairie vole-derived iPSCs (pv-iPSCs) in this study. We constructed a polycistronic reprogramming vector, which included six reprograming factors (Oct3/4, Sox2, Klf4, c-myc, Lin28, and Nanog). Furthermore, we evaluated the effect of six reprogramming factors, which included Oct3/4 with the transactivation domain (TAD) of MyoD. Implantation of the pv-iPSCs into immunodeficient mice caused a teratoma with three germ layers. Furthermore, the established pv-iPSCs tested positive for stem cell markers, including alkaline phosphatase activity (ALP), stage-specific embryonic antigen (SSEA)-1, and dependence on leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF). Our data indicate that our newly established pv-iPSCs may be a useful tool for genetic analysis of social behavior.
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