Reproduction, Fertility and Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development Society
Vertebrate reproductive science and technology

36 Transgenic Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer Blastocyst Selection with Embryo Biopsying

M. Nõmm A , M. Ivask A B , P. Pärn A C , Ü. Jaakma A C and S. Kõks A B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Estonian University of Life Sciences, Tartu, Estonia;

B University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia;

C Competence Centre on Health Technologies, Tartu, Estonia

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 30(1) 157-157
Published: 4 December 2017


Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is, to date, the most used technology producing transgenic (TG) cattle. Depending on the gene construct and transfection method, transfection efficiency may differ greatly. Applying a more intense selection regime after transfection may obliterate the cells. An extended selection affects the passage number and leads to genotypic and phenotypic drift of the cells. We used the pBC1 Milk Expression Vector Kit (cat. no. K270-01, Invitrogen Corp., Carlsbad, CA, USA) to make the expression vector of human FSH (hFSH). For TG fibroblast cell line, the AmaxaTM NucleofectorTM Kit for Primary Fibroblasts (cat. no. VPI-1002, Lonza Grouop, Basel, Switzerland) was used. For TG fibroblast selection, G418 (neomycin) was used for 21 days with a final concentration of 400 µg mL−1. The final passage number of the cell line was 6. The primers included in the pBC1 Milk Expression Vector Kit-BCF (GATTGACAAGTAATACGCTGTTTCCTC) and BCR (CATCAGAAGTTAAACAGCACAGTTAG)-were used to control the insert. The transgenesis of the cell line was confirmed by sequencing the PCR product and analysing it with the BlastN and Bioedit software to make sure the fibroblast cell line was hFSH-positive. These cells were thereafter randomly used for SCNT as donor cells. All the SCNT embryos were cultured for 4 days in IVF Bioscience (Falmouth, United Kingdom) culture media and then biopsied. After aspirating 1 blastomere from the 6- to 8-cell-stage embryo, the biopsied embryos were further individually cultured until Day 7 and blastocyst formation was recorded. Genomic DNA from the biopsies was isolated and amplified with REPLI-g Single Cell Kit (Qiagen, Valencia, CA, USA) according to the manufacturer’s protocol. The primers BCF and BCR were used to control the hFSH positivity of the embryos, and the PCR product was visualised on a 1% agarose gel. From 62 biopsied SCNT cloned embryos, 22 (35.48%) tested TG positive. The total blastocyst yield from biopsied embryos was 26 (41.93%), of which 12 (54.54%) were TG positive blastocysts and selected for transfer. Our hFSH TG fibroblast cell line demonstrated a low concentration of TG cells in its culture, despite the selection and verification methods applied. Based on the analysis of SCNT embryos, only 54.54% of the embryos developed were TG positive. The embryo biopsying technique enables us to use only TG-positive SCNT cloned embryos for transfer, therefore avoiding non-TG pregnancies.

This study was supported by Enterprise Estonia grant EU30020, Institutional research funding IUT 8-1 and Horizon 2020 Project SEARMET 692299.

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