Skin-derived precursor cells (SKPs) are multipotent, sphere-forming and embryonic neural crest-related precursor cells that can be isolated from dermis. It is known that the properties of porcine SKPs can be enhanced by leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) which is an essential factor for the generation of embryonic stem cells in mice. In our present study, to enhance or maintain the properties of murine SKPs, LIF was added to the culture medium. SKPs were treated with 1,000 IU LIF for 72 hours after passage 3. Quantitative real time RT-PCR was then performed to quantify the expression of the pluripotent stem cell specific genes Oct4, Nanog, Klf4 and c-Myc, and the neural crest specific genes Snai2 and Ngfr. The results show that the expression of Oct4 is increased in murine SKPs by LIF treatment whereas the level of Ngfr is decreased under these conditions. Interestingly, LIF treatment reduced Nanog expression which is also important for cell proliferation in adult stem cells and for osteogenic induction in mesenchymal stem cells. These findings implicate LIF in the maintenance of stemness in SKPs through the suppression of lineage differentiation and in part through the control of cell proliferation.