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


S. W. Park A , Y. W. Jeong A , J. J. Kim A , K. H. Ko A , S. H. Jeong A , Y. I. Jeong A , H. Y. Son A , Y. B. Jeon B , M. S. Hossein A , Y. W. Kim A , S. H. Hyun B , T. Shin A and W. S. Hwang A

A SooAm Biotech Research Foundation,Yongin-si, Gueonggi-do, South Korea;

B Chungbuk National University, Cheongju, South Korea

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 22(1) 195-195
Published: 8 December 2009


The Tibetan Mastiff is the oldest dog breed in the world, and it is at the edge of extinction. Li et al. (2008) believe that protection of and research on the Tibetan Mastiff is extremely urgent, yet few studies have been carried out, particularly at the molecular level. Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is an efficient technique for the conservation of endangered animals because it can increase the number of individuals within a population. Considering the virtually unlimited value of cloned canids in critical biotechnology applications, including gene conservation of endangered canids and disease models, the effect of cell-cycle synchronization methods, including the use of cycling canine adult skin fibroblasts (CASF), on the cell-cycle stage and viability of donor nuclei was analyzed. To improve the efficiency of cloned dog production, optimal conditions of donor cells were analyzed by culture duration (Days 1, 2, 3, and 4), passages (2, 4, 7, 10, and 11 passages) and mitotic regulator Plk-1/-4 gene expression. Simerly et al. (2003) reported that the depletion of microtubule motors and centrosomal proteins during enucleation of SCNT procedures caused abnormal development of SCNT embryos. We therefore analyzed Plk-1/-4-induced centriole biogenesis in CASF at different passages of donor cells. In this study, somatic cells were collected from a purebred 9-month-old male Mastiff and an 11-month-old female mastiff. In vivo-matured oocytes were retrieved from outbreed dogs by operation. Cycling cells cultured at Day 4 showed a similar effect to that of cells that were artificially synchronized (contact inhibition or serum starvation). It was also confirmed that fresh and short-term culture (<5 passages) resulted in fewer harmful effects and the same cell viability as control cells, using proliferation assays and expression levels of Plk-1/-4 genes. Therefore, 4 passage-cycling cells at Day 4 were used as donor cells of SCNT. A total of 289 oocytes were reconstructed with each male or female somatic cell and then simultaneously fused/activated with 2 DC pulses of 1.9 kV cm-1 for 30 s of electrical stimulation. Finally, 224 embryos were transferred to 16 naturally synchronized recipients. As a result, we were able to use somatic cells collected from both female and male Tibetan Mastiffs to produce 10 female and 6 male mastiffs. Moreover, one surrogate delivered a quartet of identical cloned female Tibetan Mastiffs puppies; each of 3 surrogates also delivered triplets. Microsatellite analysis demonstrated the genotypic identity of the cloned puppies. In conclusion, the present study shows that (1) cell-cycle synchronization of donor cells by serum starvation/contact inhibition is not required, (2) Plk-1/-4 mRNA can be used to select the donor cells, (3) electrical stimulation alone is sufficient for the activation of SCNT embryos for the production of SCNT cloned dogs, and (4) the cloned dog delivery efficiency (7.1%) was threefold higher than in previous reports.

SWP and YWJ contributed equally to this work. WSH was corresponding author and SHH was co-corresponding author.

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