Clinical and pathologic features of cloned transgenic calves and fetuses (13 case studies)

Theriogenology. 1999 Jun;51(8):1451-65. doi: 10.1016/s0093-691x(99)00089-8.


The neonatal abnormalities, treatments and outcomes in a group of 13 cloned transgenic calves and fetuses that progressed into the third trimester of pregnancy are described. From these 13 fetuses, 8 calves were born live, 4 stillborn fetuses were recovered from 3 cows that died 7 d to 2 mo before term, and 1 aborted fetus was recovered at 8 mo gestation. All fetuses and calves were derived from the same male fetal Holstein fibroblast cell line transfected with a beta-galactosidase marker gene. Six calves were delivered by Cesarian section and two by vaginal delivery between 278 and 288 d of gestation. Birth weights ranged from 44 to 58.6 kg. Five of the 8 live born calves were judged to be normal within 4 h of birth based on clinical signs and blood gas measurements. One of these 5 calves died at 6 wk of age from a suspected dilated cardiomyopathy. Three of the 8 calves were diagnosed with neonatal respiratory distress immediately following birth, one of which died (at 4 d of age) as a result of pulmonary surfactant deficiency coupled with pulmonary hypertension and elevated systemic venous pressures. Similar findings of chronic pulmonary hypertension were also observed in 2 of 5 fetuses. Placental edema was present in both calves that later died and in the 2 fetuses with cardiopulmonary abnormalities. Hydrallantois occurred with or without placental edema in 6 cows, and only 1 calf from this group survived. The 6 cows without hydrallantois or placental edema produced 5 live calves and 1 aborted fetus. The cardiopulmonary abnormalities observed in the calves and fetuses occurred in utero in conjunction with placental abnormalities, and it is likely that the cloning technique and/or in vitro embryo culture conditions contributed to these abnormalities, although the mechanism remains to be determined.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified*
  • Animals, Newborn / physiology*
  • Carbon Dioxide / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / veterinary
  • Cattle / embryology*
  • Cattle Diseases
  • Cloning, Organism*
  • Female
  • Fetal Death / veterinary
  • Male
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Placenta Diseases / veterinary
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome


  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Oxygen