Avian embryos and related cell lines have found wide applications in basic and applied sciences. The embryonated
egg is a great host for monoclonal antibodies and recombinant proteins. Avian cell lines derived from embryonated
eggs have been used for the production of transgenic birds and virus inoculation in vaccine preparation.
Hitherto, many efforts have been invested to develop efficient avian stem cell culture. Under the conventional
conditions, there are various challenges, such as the type of feeder layers, conditioned medium, serum, and
growth factors. Researchers have investigated different conditions to solve these problems. Recent studies have
shown that targeted strategies using small molecule inhibitors could be used as alternatives to multi-growth factor
delivery approaches. Since small molecule inhibitors were used for mammalian pluripotent stem cells (PSC),
several kinds of research have examined the effect of the small molecule on self-renewal and maintenance
of avian PSC. Avian PSC can be derived from early blastodermal cells (stage X), circular primoridial germ
cells (PGC; stage HH17), gonadal PGC (stage HH28), and embryonic germ cells (EGC; HH28). Previous
studies have shown that the use of small molecule drugs such as PD0325901, SB431542, SC1, IDE1, Z-VAD,
Blebbistatin, H-1152, and IDE1 could be an efficient method for the derivation of avian stem cells. This minireview
covers the recent development of avian stem cell culture by small molecules.