Author(s): Shiga K, Fujita T, Hirose K, Sasae Y, Nagai T
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Abstract We investigated the possibility of producing calves from transferable bovine embryos obtained by nuclear transfer using somatic cell-derived cell lines. Muscle cells obtained from 2 Japanese Black bulls were dispersed in Hank's solution supplemented with collagenase Type-I. The separated muscle cells were cultured in Dulbecco's Modified Eagle's medium (D-MEM) supplemented with 10\% fetal bovine serum (FBS) at 39 degrees C in an atmosphere of 5\% CO2 in air. Cells were passaged at least 4 times, and for 5 d prior to nuclear transfer they (donor cells: karyoplasts) were cultured in D-MEM supplemented with 0.5\% FBS (to induce quiescence) or 10\% FBS. Recipient oocytes were produced by in vitro culture of bovine oocytes that were obtained at a slaughterhouse and then enucleated in modified phosphate buffered saline supplemented with cytochalasin B. Embryos were reconstructed by 3 protocols using karyoplasts cultured in the medium with 0.5\% FBS. 1) Group A: recipient oocytes (cytoplasts; n = 157) were treated with Ca ionophore A 23187, ethanol and cycloheximide, and then a karyoplast was fused to an activated cytoplast. 2) Group B: karyoplasts were transferred to cytoplasts (n = 117), and the couplets were treated with electric stimulation and then Ca ionophore A 23187 and cycloheximide. 3) Group C: cytoplasts (n = 104) were cultured for a further 12 h before fusion, and then the couplets were treated with electric stimulation and cycloheximide. 4) Group D: in addition to the above 3 groups, karyoplasts cultured in the medium with 10\% FBS were transferred to recipient cytoplasts (n = 137) and treated as in Protocol 2. Reconstructed embryos were cultured in modified CR1aa for 8 d, and the development of embryos was assessed. In total 73 blastocysts were obtained, and the frequency of development to the blastocyst stage in Group A (2.5\%) was lower than that of Groups B, C and D (20.5, 18.3 and 19.0\%, respectively; P < 0.01). Of these the sex of 21 blastocysts was determined by rapid Y-chromosome detection assay, and all were male, suggesting that nuclear replacement had been achieved successfully. When 26 blastocysts were transferred to 20 recipient cows, 8 of them became pregnant; 4 cows subsequently aborted about 60 d after embryo transfer while the remaining 4 cows calved. These results indicate that reconstructed embryos obtained by nuclear transfer of muscle cell-derived cell lines can develop to the blastocyst stage, and some are sufficiently competent to develop to term. Particularly important was the finding that special culture protocols for somatic cells prior to nuclear transfer were not necessary in our system.
This article was published in Theriogenology
and referenced in Cloning & Transgenesis