[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Large animal models that accurately mimic human hemophilia A (HA) are in great demand for developing and testing novel therapies to treat HA.
To re-establish a line of sheep exhibiting a spontaneous bleeding disorder closely mimicking severe human HA, fully characterize their clinical presentation, and define the molecular basis for disease.
Sequential reproductive manipulations were performed with cryopreserved semen from a deceased affected ram. The resultant animals were examined for hematologic parameters, clinical symptoms, and responsiveness to human FVIII (hFVIII). The full coding region of sheep FVIII mRNA was sequenced to identify the genetic lesion.
The combined reproductive technologies yielded 36 carriers and 8 affected animals. The latter had almost non-existent levels of FVIII:C and extremely prolonged aPTT, with otherwise normal hematologic parameters. These animals exhibited bleeding from the umbilical cord, prolonged tail and nail cuticle bleeding time, and multiple episodes of severe spontaneous bleeding, including hemarthroses, muscle hematomas and hematuria, all of which responded to hFVIII. Inhibitors of hFVIII were detected in four treated animals, further establishing the preclinical value of this model. Sequencing identified a premature stop codon and frame-shift in exon 14, providing a molecular explanation for HA. Given the decades of experience using sheep to study both normal physiology and a wide array of diseases and the high homology between human and sheep FVIII, this new model will enable a better understanding of HA and facilitate the development and testing of novel treatments that can directly translate to HA patients.
Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis 11/2009; 8(2):276-85. · 6.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objectives of the present study were to investigate the relationship between the morphological status of cumulus cells surrounding canine oocytes after maturation culture and the meiotic stage of the oocytes. In addition, the effect of the removal of cumulus cells from canine cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) during maturation culture on their meiotic competence was examined. Canine COCs were collected from bitches at the anoestrous and dioestrous stages and only COCs with >110 microm in vitelline diameter were cultured in medium 199 with 10% canine serum for 72 h. In the first experiment, the relation between the morphological status of cumulus cells surrounding oocytes cultured for 72 h and their meiotic stages was examined. At the end of maturation culture, the proportions of intact, partially nude and completely nude oocytes were 65.2%, 22.9% and 11.9%, respectively. The proportion of maturation to metaphase II of completely nude oocytes was highest among the oocytes with different morphological status of cumulus cells. In the second experiment, the cumulus cells were partially or completely removed from COCs at 48 h after the start of maturation culture and the oocytes were cultured for a further 24 h. The proportion of oocytes reaching metaphase II in the completely denuded oocytes was significantly higher than that in the control oocytes without the removal treatment of cumulus cells. The results indicate that morphological status of cumulus cells surrounding oocytes may be related to the nuclear maturation of canine oocytes, and the removal of cumulus cells from COCs during maturation culture can promote the completion of oocyte meiotic maturation.
Reproduction in Domestic Animals 04/2007; 42(2):184-9. · 1.39 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tissue banking and animal cloning represent a powerful tool for conserving and regenerating valuable animal genomes. Here we report an example involving cattle and the rescue of a genome affording natural disease resistance. During the course of a 2-decade study involving the phenotypic and genotypic analysis for the functional and genetic basis of natural disease resistance against bovine brucellosis, a foundation sire was identified and confirmed to be genetically resistant to Brucella abortus. This unique animal was utilized extensively in numerous animal breeding studies to further characterize the genetic basis for natural disease resistance. The bull died in 1996 of natural causes, and no semen was available for AI, resulting in the loss of this valuable genome. Fibroblast cell lines had been established in 1985, cryopreserved, and stored in liquid nitrogen for future genetic analysis. Therefore, we decided to utilize these cells for somatic cell nuclear transfer to attempt the production of a cloned bull and salvage this valuable genotype. Embryos were produced by somatic cell nuclear transfer and transferred to 20 recipient cows, 10 of which became pregnant as determined by ultrasound at d 40 of gestation. One calf survived to term. At present, the cloned bull is 4.5 yr old and appears completely normal as determined by physical examination and blood chemistry. Furthermore, in vitro assays performed to date indicate this bull is naturally resistant to B. abortus, Mycobacterium bovis, and Salmonella typhimurium, as was the original genetic donor.
Journal of Animal Science 02/2007; 85(1):138-42. · 2.09 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study was conducted to determine a suitable ratio of oocytes to medium for in vitro maturation (IVM) of cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) collected from bitches at anoestrus and dioestrus and to examine the meiotic competence of COCs cultured singly or in different group sizes. In the first experiment, different numbers of COCs (5, 10, 15 and 20 per drop) were cultured for 72 h in 100 microl drops of maturation medium. The meiotic competence of oocytes from ovaries at anoestrus was affected by the number of COCs incubated, whereas at dioestrus, the incubation number of COCs had no effect. In the second experiment, COCs were cultured singly or in different group sizes for 72 h by suitable oocyte density according to the reproductive cycle of the donor. In the anoestrous group, 1, 5 and 10 COCs were cultured in 10, 50 and 100 microl drops of the medium (10 microl per COC), respectively. In the dioestrous group, 1, 5 and 15 COCs were cultured in 7, 35 and 105 microl drops of the medium (7 microl per COC), respectively. There were no differences in the proportions of oocytes reaching metaphase II among the different group sizes in each stage of the reproductive cycle of the donor. The results indicate that the influence of oocyte density on the meiotic competence of oocytes differs according to the stage of the reproductive cycle of the donor. Moreover, the group sizes have no effect on the meiotic competence of oocytes cultured at suitable oocyte density according to the reproductive cycle of the donor.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sheep, mice, cattle, goats and pigs have all been cloned by transfer of a donor cell nucleus into an enucleated ovum, and now we add the successful cloning of a cat (Felis domesticus) to this list. However, this cloning technology may not be readily extendable to other mammalian species if our understanding of their reproductive processes is limited or if there are species-specific obstacles.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this research was to evaluate if DNA hypomethylation in cells used as karyoplasts would improve development of bovine nuclear transplantation (NT) embryos. DNA from serum-fed (SF), serum-starved (SS), and 1, or 5 microM 5-azacytidine (5-aza-CR) treated cells was digested with a methylation sensitive enzyme, and evaluated for DNA methylation. A significant reduction in DNA methylation was observed in cells cultured for 48 or 72 hr in SS medium as well as in cells cultured for 48 hr in the presence of 5 microM 5-aza-CR when compared to cells cultured in SF medium. All other comparisons contained no significant differences when compared to controls. When donor cells were cultured in 5-aza-CR, SF, or SS treatment media for 48 hr, no significant difference was observed (P = 0.06) in blastocyst development rates after NT. One embryo produced by donor cells treated with 5-aza-CR established a pregnancy. Four pregnancies resulted from embryos produced by SS donor cell NT and 3 resulted from embryos produced by SF donor cell NT. Supplementation of the donor cell culture medium with 5-aza-CR was not beneficial for increasing blastocyst rate or establishing pregnancy after NT.
Molecular Reproduction and Development 11/2001; 60(2):208-13. · 2.81 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Regenerated bovine fetal fibroblast cells were derived from a fetus cloned from an adult cow and passaged every 2-3 days. Serum starvation was performed by culturing cells in DMEM/F-12 supplemented with 0.5% FCS for 1-3 days. In vitro matured bovine oocytes were enucleated by removing the first polar body and a small portion of cytoplasm containing the metaphase II spindle. Cloned embryos were constructed by electrofusion of fetal fibroblast cells with enucleated bovine oocytes, electrically activated followed by 5 h culture in 10 microg/mL cycloheximide + 5 microg/mL cytochalasin B, and then cultured in a B2 + vero-cell co-culture system. A significantly higher proportion of fused embryos developed to blastocysts by day 7 when nuclei were exposed to oocyte cytoplasm prior to activation for 120 min (41.2%) compared to 0-30 min (28.2%, p < 0.01). Grade 1 blastocyst rates were 85.1% and 73.3%, respectively. The mean number of nuclei per grade 1 blastocyst was significantly greater for 120 min exposure (110.63 +/- 7.19) compared to 0-30 min exposure (98.67 +/- 7.94, p < 0.05). No significant differences were observed in both blastocyst development (37.4% and 30.6%) and mean number of nuclei per blastocyst (103.59 +/- 6.6 and 107.00 +/- 7.12) when serum starved or nonstarved donor cells were used for nuclear transfer (p > 0.05). Respectively, 38.7%, 29.4%, and 19.9% of the embryos reconstructed using donor cells at passage 5-10, 11-20 and 21-36 developed to the blastocyst stage. Of total blastocysts, the percentage judged to be grade 1 were 80.9%, 79.2%, and 54.1%, and mean number of nuclei per grade 1 blastocysts, were 113.18 +/- 9.06, 100.04 +/- 6.64, and 89.25 +/- 6.19, respectively. The proportion of blastocyst percentage of grade 1 blastocysts, and mean number of nuclei per grade 1 blastocyst decreased with increasing passage number of donor cells (p < 0.05). These data suggest that regenerated fetal fibroblast cells support high blastocyst development and embryo quality following nuclear transfer. Remodeling and reprogramming of the regenerated fetal fibroblast nuclei may be facilitated by the prolonged exposure of the nuclei to the enucleated oocyte cytoplasm prior to activation. Serum starvation of regenerated fetal cells is not beneficial for embryo development to blastocyst stage. Regenerated fetal fibroblast cells can be maintained up to at least passage 36 and still support development of nuclear transfer embryos to the blastocyst stage.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to determine whether nuclear transplantation could be used to clone a dog using donor nucleus cells collected from an adult female. Fibroblasts obtained from skin biopsies were fused with enucleated bovine or canine oocytes. The resulting cloned embryos were cultured in vitro to monitor embryonic development. A proportion of the resulting embryos was transferred into surrogate bitches for development to term. When canine oocytes were used as recipient ova for canine fibroblasts, 23% of the resulting embryos cleaved at least once after culture in vitro. Five cloned embryos were transferred into three synchronized recipient bitches, but no pregnancies resulted. When bovine oocytes were used as recipinets for canine fibroblasts, 38% cleaved to the two- to four-cell stage and 43% cleaved to the eight- to 16-cell stage. Forty-seven of these embryos were transferred into four recipient females, resulting in a single conceptus that ceased development at about day 20 of gestation. The desire for cloned dogs is considerable and will undoubtedly incite the development of successful methods for cloning companion animals. However, significant investment into additional research is required, especially in the areas of in vitro maturation of oocytes and control of the oestrous cycle of bitches.
Journal of reproduction and fertility. Supplement 02/2001; 57:287-93.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cloned sheep, cattle, goats, pigs and mice have now been produced using somatic cells for nuclear transplantation. Animal cloning is still very inefficient with on average less than 10% of the cloned embryos transferred resulting in a live offspring. However successful cloning of a variety of different species and by a number of different laboratory groups has generated tremendous interest in reproducing desired genotypes. Some of these specific genotypes represent animal cell lines that have been genetically modified. In other cases there is a significant demand for cloning animals characterized by their inherent genetic value, for example prize livestock, household pets and rare or endangered species. A number of different variables may influence the ability to reproduce a specific genotype by cloning. These include species, source of recipient ova, cell type of nuclei donor, treatment of donor cells prior to nuclear transfer, and the techniques employed for nuclear transfer. At present, there is no solid evidence that suggests cloning will be limited to only a few specific animals, and in fact, most data collected to date suggests cloning will be applicable to a wide variety of different animals. The ability to reproduce any desired genotype by cloning will ultimately depend on the amount of time and resources invested in research.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The production of cloned animals is, at present, an inefficient process. This study focused on the fetal losses that occur between Days 30-90 of gestation. Fetal and placental characteristics were studied from Days 30-90 of gestation using transrectal ultrasonography, maternal pregnancy specific protein b (PSPb) levels, and postslaughter collection of fetal tissue. Pregnancy rates at Day 30 were similar for recipient cows carrying nuclear transfer (NT) and control embryos (45% [54/120] vs. 58% [11/19]), although multiple NT embryos were often transferred into recipients. From Days 30-90, 82% of NT fetuses died, whereas all control pregnancies remained viable. Crown-rump (CR) length was less in those fetuses that were destined to die before Day 90, but no significant difference was found between the CR lengths of NT and control fetuses that survived to Day 90. Maternal PSPb levels at Days 30 and 50 of gestation were not predictive of fetal survival to Day 90. The placentas of six cloned and four control (in vivo or in vitro fertilized) bovine pregnancies were compared between Days 35 and 60 of gestation. Two cloned placentas showed rudimentary development, as indicated by flat, cuboidal trophoblastic epithelium and reduced vascularization, whereas two others possessed a reduced number of barely discernable cotyledonary areas. The remaining two cloned placentas were similar to the controls, although one contained hemorrhagic cotyledons. Poor viability of cloned fetuses during Days 35-60 was associated with either rudimentary or marginal chorioallantoic development. Our findings suggest that future research should focus on factors that promote placental and vascular growth and on fetomaternal interactions that promote placental attachment and villous formation.
Biology of Reproduction 01/2001; 63(6):1787-94. · 4.03 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Adult animal cloning has progressed to allow the production of offspring cloned from adult cells, however many cloned calves die prenatally or shortly after birth. This study examined the expression of three important metabolic enzymes, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), citrate synthase, and phosphofructokinase (PFK), to determine if their detection in nuclear transfer (NT) embryos mimics that determined for in vitro produced embryos. A day 40 nuclear transfer produced fetus derived from an adult cell line was collected and fetal fibroblast cultures were established and maintained. Reconstructed NT embryos were then produced from this cell line, and RT-PCR was used to evaluate mRNA reprogramming. All three mRNAs encoding these enzymes were detected in the regenerated fetal fibroblast cell line. Detection patterns were first determined for IVF produced embryos (1-cell, 2-cell, 6-8 cell, morula, and blastocyst stages) to compare with their detection in NT embryos. PFK has three subunits: PFK-L, PFK-M, and PFK-P. PFK-L and PFK-P were not detected in bovine oocytes. PFK subunits were not detected in 6-8 cell embryos but were detected in blastocysts. Results from NT embryo RT-PCR demonstrated that PFK was not detected in 8-cell NT embryos but was detected in NT blastocysts indicating that proper nuclear reprogramming had occurred. Citrate synthase was detected in oocytes and throughout development to the blastocyst stage in both bovine IVF and NT embryos. LDH-A and LDH-B were detected in bovine oocytes and in all stages of IVF and NT embryos examined up to the blastocyst stage. A third subunit, LDH-C was not detected at the blastocyst stage in IVF or NT embryos but was detected in all earlier stages and in mature oocytes. In addition, LDH-C mRNA was detected in gonad isolated from the NT and an in vivo produced control fetus. These results indicate that the three metabolic enzymes maintain normal expression patterns and therefore must be properly reprogrammed following nuclear transfer.
Molecular Reproduction and Development 09/2000; 56(4):458-64. · 2.81 Impact Factor