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  Vertebrate Reproductive Science & Technology
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RFD is the official journal of the International Embryo Transfer Society and the Society for Reproductive Biology.


Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 22(1)


F. F. Bressan A, M. S. Miranda A, F. Perecin A, T. H. C. De Bem A, M. Bajgelman B, B. Strauss B, J. E. Krieger B, M. Binelli A, F. V. Meirelles A

A Universidade de São Paulo, Pirassununga, Brasil;
B Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brasil
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Genetically modified animals have numerous applications ranging from basic research to agriculture production. Cloning by nuclear transfer (NT) has made possible the production of transgenic animals using previously genetically modified cell lineages. Gene expression studies and adequate selection of the nuclei donor cell for NT guarantees the presence of the gene construction in the offspring and the absence of deleterious mutations caused by the random insertion of transgenes in functional areas of the genome. Embryonic development after NT requires a change in the transcriptome of the donor cell from a somatic to an embryonic pattern, causing cloning efficiencies to be low because of incomplete or defective nuclear reprogramming. Therefore, the establishment of methodologies able to increase cloning success is highly desirable. The experiment was designed to test if recloning of transgenic fetal fibroblasts increases cloned blastocyst production and the pregnancy rates of transgenic cloned embryos produced by NT. This study compared the developmental potential of cloned embryos reconstructed with fetal fibroblasts genetically modified by lentivirus random integration (control group) expressing the green fluorescent protein gene (eGFP), with a transgenic fetal fibroblast cell line established from a 30-day transgenic pregnancy (recloning group). Fusion, cleavage (72 h post-activation, hpa), blastocyst production (168 hpa), and 30-day pregnancy rates were analyzed. A total of 1213 embryos were reconstructed; 884 (10 replicates) with random transgene insertion fibroblasts and 329 (4 replicates) with cells derived from the cloned fetus. Results were analyzed by chi-square test at 5% significance. No difference was observed (P > 0.05) between control and recloned groups regarding fusion rate (n = 550, 62.22% and n = 189, 57.25%; respectively) or cleavage rate (n = 383, 69.45% and n = 132, 69.84%, respectively). The recloned group, however, showed a higher blastocyst development rate (P < 0.01) compared with the control group (n = 51, 26.98%, and n = 79, 14.36%, respectively) and a higher 30-day pregnancy rate (n = 6, 15.38% and n = 3, 5.56%, respectively). In conclusion, recloning of transgenic fibroblasts from a successfully established pregnancy augments the efficiency in the production of embryos and pregnancy establishment compared with the control group. We speculate that a second round of NT enhances the nuclear reprogramming of donor cells, and moreover, the use of a transgenic cell lineage already proven to be successfully reprogrammed may indicate that transgene integration is not deleterious in that specific cell lineage, resulting in a good source of donor cells to be used in order to produce a homogeneous bioreactor herd.

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