Bovine oocyte cytoplasm supports development of embryos produced by nuclear transfer of somatic cell nuclei from various mammalian species

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Biology of Reproduction


The transfer of nuclei from one cell to another provides a powerful tool for studying the interactions between the cytoplasm of one cell and the nucleus of another. This study was designed to examine the ability of the bovine metaphase oocyte cytoplasm to support mitotic cell cycles under the direction of differentiated somatic cell nuclei of various mammalian species. Skin fibroblast cells from cows, sheep, pigs, monkeys, and rats were used as sources of donor nuclei. Nuclear transfer units produced by fusion of enucleated bovine oocytes and individual fibroblasts from all species examined underwent transition to interphase accompanied by nuclear swelling, further progression through the cell cycle, and completion of the first mitosis. Regardless of the species of donor fibroblasts used, some cleaving units progressed further and developed to advanced stages, as evidenced by continuation of cell proliferation and formation of a blastocoele cavity at the time appropriate for the donor fibroblast species. Although no pregnancies have been carried to term after transfer of embryos into surrogate animals, these observations suggest that mechanisms regulating early embryonic development may be conserved among mammalian species and that bovine oocyte cytoplasm can support the introduced differentiated nucleus regardless of chromosome number, species, or age of the donor fibroblast.

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