[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Somatic cell nuclear transfer offers the possibility of preserving endangered species including the black-footed cat, which is threatened with extinction. The effectiveness and efficiency of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) depends on a variety of factors, but 'inappropriate epigenetic reprogramming of the transplanted nucleus is the primary cause of the developmental failure of cloned embryos. Abnormal epigenetic events such as DNA methylation and histone modifications during SCNT perturb the expression of imprinted and pluripotent-related genes that, consequently, may result in foetal and neonatal abnormalities. We have demonstrated that pregnancies can be established after transfer of black-footed cat cloned embryos into domestic cat recipients, but none of the implanted embryos developed to term and the foetal failure has been associated to aberrant reprogramming in cloned embryos. There is growing evidence that modifying the epigenetic pattern of the chromatin template of both donor cells and reconstructed embryos with a combination of inhibitors of histone deacetylases and DNA methyltransferases results in enhanced gene reactivation and improved in vitro and in vivo developmental competence. Epigenetic modifications of the chromatin template of black-footed cat donor cells and reconstructed embryos with epigenetic-modifying compounds enhanced in vitro development, and regulated the expression of pluripotent genes, but these epigenetic modifications did not improve in vivo developmental competence.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study, the relative acetylation levels of histone 3 in lysine 9 (H3K9ac) in cultured and cryopreserved bovine fibroblasts was measured and we determined the influence of the epigenetic status of three cultured (C1, C2 and C3) donor cell lines on the in vitro development of reconstructed bovine embryos. Results showed that cryopreservation did not alter the overall acetylation levels of H3K9 in bovine fibroblasts analysed immediately after thawing (frozen/thawed) compared with fibroblasts cultured for a period of time after thawing. However, reduced cleavage rates were noted in embryos reconstructed with fibroblasts used immediately after thawing. Cell passage affects the levels of H3K9ac in bovine fibroblasts, decreasing after P1 and donor cells with lower H3K9ac produced a greater frequency of embryo development to the blastocyst stage. Cryopreservation did not influence the total cell and ICM numbers, or the ICM/TPD ratios of reconstructed embryos. However, the genetic source of donor cells did influence the total number of cells and the trophectoderm cell numbers, and the cell passage influenced the total ICM cell numbers.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract The black-footed cat (BFC; Felis nigripes), one of the smallest wild cats, is listed as threatened. Interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer (Is-SCNT) offers the possibility of preserving endangered species. Development to term of interspecies BFC (Is-BFC) cloned embryos has not been obtained, possibly due to abnormal epigenetic reprogramming. Treatment of intraspecies cloned embryos with TSA improves nuclear reprogramming and in vitro and in vivo viability. In this study, we evaluated (1) whether covalent histone modifications differ between Is-BFC cloned embryos and their IVF counterparts, (2) the optimal TSA concentration and exposure times to modify the covalent histone patterns, (3) if TSA enhances in vitro and in vivo developmental competence of cloned embryos, and (4) expression of pluripotent genes. Results indicated that the covalent histone modifications of Is-BFC cloned embryos aberrantly differ from their DSH-IVF counterpart embryos. Aberrant epigenetic events may be due partially to the inability of the DSH cytoplasm to modify the restrictive epigenetic marks of the BFC nuclei after somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Incomplete remodeling of the histone H3K9me2 in Is-BFC cloned embryos possibly contributes to abnormal expression of pluripotent genes and low embryonic development. Treatment of Is-BFC cloned embryos with TSA remodeled the covalent pattern in H3K9ac and H3K9me2, resembling epigenetic patterns in IVF counterpart embryos, and resulted in activation of some pluripotent genes. However, genomic reprogramming of Is-BFC cloned blastocysts did not follow the same reprogramming pattern observed in DSH-IVF embryos, and in vitro and in vivo developmental competence was not enhanced.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The domestic cat is a focal mammalian species that is used as a model for developing assisted reproductive technologies for preserving endangered cats and for studying human diseases. The generation of stable characterized cat embryonic stem cells (ESC) lines to use as donor nuclei may help to improve the efficiency of interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer for preserving endangered cats and allow the creation of knockout cell lines to generate knockout cats for studying function of specific genes related to human diseases. It will also enable the possibility of producing gametes in vitro from ESC of endangered cats. In the present study, we report the generation of cat embryonic stem-like (cESL) cells from blastocysts derived entirely in vitro. We generated 32 cESL cell lines from 331 in vitro derived blastocysts from which inner cell masses were isolated by immunosurgery or by a mechanical method. Inhibition of cat dermal fibroblast (CDF) proliferation after exposure to mitomycin-C was both dose and time dependent, where doses of 30 to 40 microg/mL for 5 h were most efficient. These dosages were higher than that required to inhibit cell proliferation of mouse fetal fibroblasts (MFF; 10 microg/mL for 2.5 h). Mitomycin-C did not significantly increase necrosis of cells from either species, and had an anti-proliferative effect at concentrations below cytotoxicity. A clear species-specific relationship between feeder layers and derivation of cESL cell lines was observed, where higher numbers of cESL cell lines were generated on homologous cat feeder layers (n = 26) than from those derived on heterologous mouse feeder layers (n = 6). Three cESL cell lines generated from immunosurgery and cultured on CDF maintained self-renewal and were morphologically undifferentiated for nine and twelve passages (69-102 days). These lines showed a tightly packed dome shaped morphology, exhibited alkaline phosphatase activity and immuno-expression of the pluripotent marker OCT-4 and surface marker SSEA-1. Primary colonies at P0 to P3 and cat blastocysts expressed transcription factors OCT-4, NANOG and SOX-2 and the proto-oncogene C-MYC. However, expression was at levels significantly lower than in vitro produced blastocysts. During culture, cESL colonies spontaneously differentiated into fibroblasts, cardiomyocytes, and embryoid bodies. Development of techniques to prevent differentiation of cESL cells will be essential for maintaining defined cell lines.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Usually, fibroblasts are frozen in dimethyl sulphoxide (DMSO, 10% v/v) at a cooling rate of 1 degrees C/min in a low-temperature (-80 degrees C) freezer (LTF) before storage in liquid nitrogen (LN2); however, a LTF is not always available. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate apoptosis and viability of bovine fibroblasts frozen in a LTF or conventional freezer (CF; -20 degrees C) and their subsequent ability for development to blastocyst stage after fusion with enucleated bovine oocytes. Percentages of live cells frozen in LTF (49.5%) and CF (50.6%) were similar, but significantly less than non-frozen control (88%). In both CF and LTF, percentages of live apoptotic cells exposed to LN2 after freezing were lower (4% and 5%, respectively) as compared with unexposed cells (10% and 18%, respectively). Cells frozen in a CF had fewer cell doublings/24 h (0.45) and required more days (9.1) to reach 100% confluence at the first passage (P) after thawing and plating as compared with cells frozen in a LTF (0.96 and 4.0 days, respectively). Hypoploidy at P12 was higher than at P4 in cells frozen in either a CF (37.5% vs. 19.2%) or in a LTF (30.0% vs. 15.4%). A second-generation cryo-solution reduced the incidence of necrosis (29.4%) at 0 h after thawing as compared with that of a first generation cryo-solution (DMEM + DMSO, 60.2%). The percentage of apoptosis in live cells was affected by cooling rate (CF = 1.9% vs. LFT = 0.7%). Development of bovine cloned embryos to the blastocyst stage was not affected by cooling rate or freezer type.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The efficient use of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), in conjunction with genetic modification of donor cells provides a general means to add or inactivate genes in mammals. This strategy has substantially improved the efficacy of producing genetically identical animals carrying mutant genes corresponding to specific human disorders. Lentiviral (LV) vectors have been shown to be well suited for introducing transgenes into cells to be used as donor nuclei for SCNT. In the present study, we established an LV vector-based transgene delivery approach for producing live transgenic domestic cats by SCNT. We have demonstrated that cat fetal fibroblasts can be transduced with EGFP-encoding LV vectors bearing various promoters including the human cytomegalovirus immediate early (hCMV-IE) promoter, the human translation elongation factor 1alpha (hEF-1alpha) promoter and the human ubiquitin C (hUbC) promoter. Among the promoters tested, embryos reconstructed with donor cells transduced with a LV-vector bearing the hUbC promoter displayed sustained transgene expression at the blastocyst stage while embryos reconstructed with LV vector-transduced cells containing hCMV-IE-EGFP or hEF-1alpha-EGFP cassettes did not. After transfer of 291 transgenic cloned embryos into the oviducts of eight recipient domestic cats (mean =36.5 +/- 10.1), three (37.5%) were diagnosed to be pregnant, and a total of six embryos (2.1%) implanted. One live male offspring was delivered by Cesarean section on day 64 of gestation, and two kittens were born dead after premature delivery on day 55. In summary, we report the birth of transgenic cloned kittens produced by LV vector-mediated transduction of donor cells and confirm that cloned kittens express the EGFP reporter transgene in all body tissues.
Cloning and Stem Cells 03/2009; 11(1):167-76. · 2.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) offers the possibility of preserving endangered species. It is one of the few technologies that avoids the loss of genetic variation and provides the prospect of species continuance, rather than extinction. Nonetheless, there has been a debate over the use of SCNT for preserving endangered species because of abnormal nuclear reprogramming, low efficiency and the involvement of extra mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of a different species in live offspring produced by interspecies SCNT. Despite these limitations, live endangered cloned animals have been produced. In the present paper, we describe recent research on the production of cloned embryos derived by fusion of wild felid fibroblast cells with heterospecific domestic cat cytoplasts and their viability after transfer into domestic cat recipients. In addition, we discuss epigenetic events that take place in donor cells and felid cloned embryos and mtDNA inheritance in wild felid clones and their offspring.
Reproduction Fertility and Development 01/2009; 21(1):76-82. · 2.58 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the present study, we used the sand cat (Felis margarita) as a somatic cell donor to evaluate whether cryopreservation of donor cells alters viability and epigenetic events in donor cells and affects in vitro and in vivo developmental competence of derived embryos. In Experiment 1, flow cytometry analysis revealed that the percentage of necrosis and apoptosis in cells analyzed immediately after freezing/thawing (61 vs. 8.1%, respectively) was higher than that observed in frozen/thawed cells cultured for 18 h (6.9 vs. 3.3%, respectively) or 5 days (38 vs. 2.6%; respectively). The relative acetylation level of H3K9 was lower in frozen/thawed cells (5.4%) compared to that found in cultured cells (60.1%). In Experiment 2, embryos reconstructed with frozen/thawed cells had a lower cleavage rate (85%; day 2) than did embryos reconstructed with cultured cells (95%), while development to the blastocyst stage (day 8) was not affected by cell treatment (17.0% with frozen/thawed cells vs. 16.5% with cultured cells). In Experiment 3, pregnancy rates were similar between both cell treatments (32% with frozen/thawed cells vs. 30% with cultured cells), but the number of embryos that were implanted, and the number of fetuses that developed to term was lower for embryos reconstructed with frozen/thawed cells (1.2 and 0.3%, respectively) than those reconstructed with cultured cells (2.6 and 1.8%, respectively), while the number of fetuses reabsorbed by day 30 was higher (75%) for embryos reconstructed with frozen/thawed cells than those reconstructed with cultured cells (31%). A total of 11 kittens from cultured cells and three kittens from frozen/thawed cells were born between days 60 to 64 of gestation. Most kittens died within a few days after birth, although one kitten did survive for 2 months. In Experiment 4, POU5F1 mRNA expression was detected in 25% of blastocysts derived from frozen/thawed cells, whereas 88 and 87% of blastocysts derived from cultured cells and by in vitro fertilization, respectively, expressed POU5F1. We have shown that cell cryopreservation increased the incidence of necrosis and apoptosis and altered epigenetic events in donor cells. Consequently, the number of embryos that cleaved, implanted, and developed to term-gestation and POU5F1 expression in derived blastocysts indirectly was affected.
Cloning and Stem Cells 10/2008; 10(4):469-83. · 2.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The production of cloned offspring by nuclear transfer (NT) of semen-derived somatic cells holds considerable potential for the incorporation of novel genes into endangered species populations. Because oocytes from endangered species are scarce, domestic species oocytes are often used as cytoplasts for interspecies NT. In the present study, epithelial cells isolated from eland semen were used for intergeneric transfer (IgNT) into enucleated bovine oocytes and compared with bovine NT embryos. Cleavage rates of bovine NT and eland IgNT embryos were similar (80 vs. 83%, respectively; p > 0.05); however, development to the morula and blastocyst stage was higher for bovine NT embryos (38 and 21%, respectively; p < 0.0001), than for eland IgNT embryos (0.5 and 0%, respectively). DNA synthesis was not observed in either bovine NT or eland IgNT cybrids before activation, but in 75 and 70% of bovine NT and eland igNT embryos, respectively, cell-cycle resumption was observed at 16 h postactivation (hpa). For eland IgNT embryos, 13% had > or = 8 cells at 84 hpa, while 32% of the bovine NT embryos had > or = 8 cells at the same interval. However, 100 and 66% of bovine NT and eland IgNT embryos, respectively, that had > or = 8 cells synthesized DNA. From these results we concluded that (1) semen-derived epithelial cell nuclei can interact and be transcriptionally controlled by bovine cytoplast, (2) the first cell-cycle occurred in IgNT embryos, (3) a high frequency of developmental arrest occurs before the eight-cell stage in IgNT embryos, and (4) IgNT embryos that progress through the early cleavage stage arrest can (a) synthesize DNA, (b) progress through subsequent cell cycles, and (c) may have the potential to develop further.
Cloning and Stem Cells 04/2008; 10(1):161-72. · 2.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although epithelial-like somatic cells have been previously isolated from semen, cell proliferation rates were low. Culture of whole semen samples resulted in loss of potentially valuable spermatozoa. The aims of the present study were to: (1) isolate somatic cells from semen, while preserving sperm viability, and (2) optimize in vitro culture conditions for semen-derived epithelial cells. Density gradient centrifugation of washed ejaculates of two rams (Ovis aries) (n = 24) and one eland bull (Taurotragus oryx) (n = 4) was performed using a three-layer discontinuous Percoll column consisting of 90% (P-90), 50% (P-50), and 20% (P-20) Percoll. In vitro culture and Trypan Blue staining indicated that live somatic cells settled in the P-20 layer. Nonmotile spermatozoa were recovered at the P-50 and P-90 interfaces, whereas motile spermatozoa were collected in the pellet from the P-90 layer. Subsequently, somatic cells isolated from the P-20 layer were plated either on inactivated 3T3 mouse embryonic fibroblast feeder layers, collagen-coated plates with 3T3 feeder cell inserts, or on collagen-coated plates. Initial somatic cell plating was similar among treatments, but proliferation significantly increased when cocultured with 3T3 cells (feeder or insert). Furthermore, two different types of epithelial cells were obtained. The exact origin of the cells in the male reproduction system is uncertain and probably variable. The present method of cell isolation and in vitro culture may be of value for preserving endangered species. Specifically, cells isolated and cultured from cryopreserved semen of nonliving males could be used for producing embryos by somatic cell nuclear transfer.
Cloning and Stem Cells 04/2008; 10(1):143-60. · 2.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Semen collected by a combination of ampullary (rectal) massage and electroejaculation of a bongo bull was incidentally contaminated with urine (1:3.7). At 1.5h post-collection, progressive motility was 0% but some spermatozoa had intermittently twitching tails. Subsequent dilution with media and processing improved the progressive motility (up to 50%) and intact membranes (up to 71%) of spermatozoa. After thawing, the respective values were 35 and 70%. The osmolarity and pH of the contaminated supernatant was 151 mOsm and 7.45, respectively. Initial progressive motility in a non-contaminated portion of semen collected during the same procedure was 80%, and, after thawing, 60 and 90%, of the spermatozoa showed progressive motility and intact membranes, respectively. In conclusion, urine-contaminated bongo spermatozoa can regain progressive motility after dilution with isosmotic solutions and survive cryopreservation.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The limited availability of gametes is a major factor hindering the development and application of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) in large non-domestic ungulates. This is partly due to the small number of captive animals and handling difficulties associated with procedures for gamete recovery. In the present study, results are reported of multi-year studies on ovarian stimulation and oocyte retrieval by ultrasonographic-guided transvaginal follicular aspiration and subsequent in vitro maturation (IVM) in eland and bongo antelopes. All procedures were conducted on sedated females handled in a hydraulic chute without inducing general anesthesia. Five estrous synchronization/ovarian stimulation protocols were evaluated and data are presented on 73 and 15 procedures in eland and bongo, respectively. Repeating procedures (< or =once/month) on the same female did not affect ovarian response or number oocytes recovered in either species. Eland females, but not the ovarian stimulation treatment, affected ovarian response. Ovarian stimulation treatment affected oocyte recovery rate in eland, but not in bongo. In both species, ovarian hormone stimulation treatment affected the distribution of follicles by size and the status of expansion of the cumulus cell investment of oocytes, but not the frequency of metaphase II oocytes during IVM. The timing of extrusion of the first polar body during IVM was more synchronous in bongo than in eland oocytes. It is concluded that Transvaginal oocyte retrieval (TVOR) can be safely and repeatedly applied in gonadotropin-treated eland and bongo females to recover oocytes that can mature in vitro. The methods described for the present study can be adapted to improve the availability of non-domestic ungulate oocytes for basic and applied studies.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the present study, we compared the incidence of aneuploidy in in vitro fertilized domestic cat embryos (DSH-IVF) with that of African Wildcat (AWC) cloned embryos reconstructed with AWC fibroblast donor cells from different passages (AWC-NT). Fibroblast cells were cultured to passages 1 (P1), 3 (P3), 4 (P4), and 9 (P9), after which cells at each passage were karyotyped and serum-starved before being frozen for nuclear transfer. AWC-NT embryos were produced by fusion of a single AWC somatic cell at P1, P3, P4, or P9 to enucleated domestic cat cytoplast derived from in vitro matured (IVU) oocytes. DSH-IVF embryos were produced after IVU oocytes were fertilized in vitro with domestic cat spermatozoa. To determine chromosome numbers, embryos (2-4-cell) or fibroblast cells were cultured in medium containing 0.28 microg/mL of Colcemid for 22-24 h or 15-24 h, respectively. Subsequently, embryos and cells were placed in hypotonic solution, fixed, and stained for analysis of chromosome spreads by bright field microscopy. Chromosomal abnormalities in AWC fibroblast cells increased progressively during culture in vitro: P1 (43%), P3 (46%), P4 (62%), and P9 (59%). In fibroblast cells, hypoploidy (94/202, 46%) was the major chromosomal abnormality, and it occurred more frequently than hyperploidy (14/202, 7%; p < 0.05). While the percentage of hyperploid cells remained stable during all passages, the proportion of hypoploidy in fibroblast cells increased significantly after P4. The overall incidence of chromosomal abnormalities in AWC-NT embryos at P1 (45%), P3 (60%), and P4 (50%) was similar to that of the fibroblast cells from which they were derived; however, the incidence was higher for embryos reconstructed with donor fibroblasts at P9 (89%). Hypoploidy was the most common chromosomal abnormality observed in either AWC-NT or DSH-IVF embryos. AWCNT embryos reconstructed with donor cells at early passages (P1, P3, and P4) had similar frequencies of chromosomal diploidy, as did DSH-IVF embryos. Accordingly, based on the present results, for NT we are currently using cat donor cells at early passages, when the percentage of cells with chromosomal abnormalities is low. It is recommended that the chromosomal stability of each cell line be analyzed before use as NT donor cells to reduce the incidence of chromosomal anomalies in reconstructed embryos and to possibly produce a subsequent increase in cloning efficiency.
Cloning and Stem Cells 01/2006; 8(2):69-78. · 2.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Difficulties and risks associated with restraining large nondomestic ungulates are limiting factors toward developing and applying assisted reproductive technologies, such as artificial insemination and embryo transfer. In this study on 10 female eland (Taurotragus oryx), we evaluated the use of behavioral training and handling handling in a hydraulic chute to perform transvaginal ultrasound-guided oocyte retrieval and other clinical procedures. Nine females were conditioned to associate specific sound cues with food treats. The interval from the audio cue until acceptance of handheld treats varied among females (1.8-58.3 min). Animals also differed in their response to training for voluntary entry into the chute. Handling eland for oocyte retrieval in the hydraulic chute required xylazine sedation. During sedation and handling, eland undergoing oocyte retrieval procedures had higher blood glucose levels (14.4 +/- 3.1) than females handled similarly but without oocyte retrieval (9.3 +/- 2.7 mmol/L). Plasma osmotic pressure, hematocrit, and creatine phosphokinase activity were similar between these two groups. Females that were more difficult to train had higher blood glucose levels than the more cooperative animals. Cooperative females had fewer vertical stripes on their sides. More than 40 procedures were conducted without complications or mortality. The combination of behavioral conditioning-training and restraint of sedated eland in a hydraulic chute was a reliable and repeatable method for performing minimally invasive assisted reproductive techniques.
Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 04/2005; 36(1):1-11. · 0.43 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the present study, we used the African Wildcat (Felis silvestris lybica) as a somatic cell donor to evaluate the in vivo developmental competence, after transfer into domestic cat recipients, of cloned embryos produced by the fusion of African Wildcat (AWC) fibroblast cell nuclei with domestic cat cytoplasts. Cloned embryos were produced by fusion of a single AWC somatic cell to in vivo or in vitro enucleated domestic cat cytoplasts. When the two sources of oocytes were compared, fusion rate was higher using in vivo-matured oocytes as recipient cytoplasts, but cleavage rate was higher after reconstruction of in vitro-matured oocytes. To determine the number of reconstructed embryos required per domestic cat recipient to consistently establish pregnancies, AWC cloned embryos were transferred within two groups: recipients (n = 24) receiving < or =25 embryos and recipients (n = 26) receiving > or =30 embryos. Twelve recipients (46.2%) receiving > or =30 embryos were diagnosed to be pregnant, while no pregnancies were established in recipients receiving < or =25 NT embryos. Also, to determine the influence of length of in vitro culture on pregnancy rate, we compared oviductal transfer on day 1 and uterine transfer on day 5, 6, or 7. Pregnancy rates were similar after transfer of embryos on day 1 (6/12; 50.0%), day 5 (4/9; 44.4%), or day 6 (2/5; 40.0%) to synchronous recipients, but the number of fetuses developing after transfer of embryos on day 1 (n = 17), versus day 5 (n = 4) or day 6 (n = 3) was significantly different. Of the 12 pregnant recipients, nine (75%) developed to term and fetal resorption or abortion occurred in the other three (25%) from day 30 to 48 of gestation. Of a total of 17 cloned kittens born, seven were stillborn, eight died within hours of delivery or up to 6 weeks of age, and two are alive and healthy. Perinatal mortality was due to lung immaturity at premature delivery, placental separation and bacterial septicemia. Subsequent DNA analysis of 12 cat-specific microsatellite loci confirmed that all 17 kittens were clones of the AWC donor male. These AWC kittens represent the first wild carnivores to be produced by nuclear transfer.
Cloning and Stem Cells 02/2004; 6(3):247-58. · 2.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The African wild cat is one of the smallest wild cats and its future is threatened by hybridization with domestic cats. Nuclear transfer, a valuable tool for retaining genetic variability, offers the possibility of species continuation rather than extinction. The aim of this study was to investigate the ability of somatic cell nuclei of the African wild cat (AWC) to dedifferentiate within domestic cat (DSH) cytoplasts and to support early development after nuclear transplantation. In experiment 1, distributions of AWC and DSH fibroblasts in each cell-cycle phase were assessed by flow cytometry using cells cultured to confluency and disaggregated with pronase, trypsin, or mechanical separation. Trypsin (89.0%) and pronase (93.0%) yielded higher proportions of AWC nuclei in the G0/G1 phase than mechanical separation (82.0%). In contrast, mechanical separation yielded higher percentages of DSH nuclei in the G0/G1 phase (86.6%) than pronase (79.7%) or trypsin (74.2%) treatments. In both species, pronase induced less DNA damage than trypsin. In experiment 2, the effects of serum starvation, culture to confluency, and exposure to roscovitine on the distribution of AWC and DSH fibroblasts in various phases of the cell cycle were determined. Flow cytometry analyses revealed that the dynamics of the cell cycle varied as culture conditions were modified. Specifically, a higher percentage of AWC and DSH nuclei were in the G0/G1 phase after cells were serum starved (83% vs. 96%) than were present in cycling cells (50% vs. 64%), after contact inhibition (61% vs. 88%), or after roscovitine (56% vs. 84%) treatment, respectively. In experiment 3, we evaluated the effects of cell synchronization and oocyte maturation (in vivo vs. in vitro) on the reconstruction and development of AWC-DSH- and DSH-DSH-cloned embryos. The method of cell synchronization did not affect the fusion and cleavage rate because only a slightly higher percentage of fused couplets cleaved when donor nuclei were synchronized by serum starvation (83.0%) than after roscovitine (80.0%) or contact-inhibition (80.0%). The fusion efficiency of in vivo and in vitro matured oocytes used as recipient cytoplasts of AWC donor nuclei (86.6% vs. 85.2%) was similar to the rates obtained with DSH donor nuclei, 83.7% vs. 73.0%, respectively. The only significant effect of source of donor nucleus (AWC vs. DSH) was on the rate of blastocyst formation in vitro. A higher percentage of the embryos derived from AWC nuclei developed to the blastocyst stage than did embryos produced from DSH nuclei, 24.2% vs. 3.3%, respectively (P < 0.05). In experiment 4, the effect of calcium in the fusion medium on induction of oocyte activation and development of AWC-DSH-cloned embryos was determined. The presence of calcium in the fusion medium induced a high incidence of cleavage of DSH oocytes (54.3%), while oocyte cleavage frequency was much lower in the absence of calcium (16.6%). The presence or absence of calcium in the fusion medium did not affect the fusion, cleavage, and blastocyst development of AWC-DSH-cloned embryos. In experiment 5, AWC-DSH-cloned embryos were transferred to the uteri of 11 synchronized domestic cat recipients on Day 6 or 7 after oocyte aspiration. Recipients were assessed by ultrasonography on Day 21 postovulation, but no pregnancies were observed. In the present study, after NT, AWC donor nuclei were able to dedifferentiate in DSH cytoplasts and support high rates of blastocyst development in vitro. Incomplete reprogramming of the differentiated nucleus may be a major constraint to the in vivo developmental potential of the embryos.
Biology of Reproduction 09/2003; 69(3):1032-41. · 4.03 Impact Factor