Comparison of microinjection (piezo-electric) and cell fusion for nuclear transfer success with different cell types in cattle

Cloning Stem Cells. 2002;4(3):189-96. doi: 10.1089/15362300260339476.


Amongst the many variables that can determine success of cloning, the source of nuclei, the procedure used for nuclear transfer, and the activation of the reconstructed embryo are very important aspects. In this study, we have compared the two most common procedures for transferring nuclei to enucleated oocytes--cell fusion (CF) and piezoelectric microinjection (PEM) using different somatic cells--and we have investigated the effect of different activation procedures. Granulosa cells and fibroblasts were grown to confluency or in low serum to induce a quiescent state, while lymphocytes were thawed immediately prior to use. Enucleated oocytes were reconstructed either with CF or PME by 21-23 h postmaturation. For cell fusion, one pulse of 1 kVolt/cm for 30 microsec was used; for PEM, the cell membrane was broken by repeated pipetting and transferred in a 12% PVP solution to facilitate injection. Manipulated oocytes were activated with ionomycin and cycloheximide (CHX) or 6-DMAP (DMAP) and cultured in microdrops of SOF-BSA-AA. On day 7 (day 0: nuclear transfer), embryo development was evaluated and embryos were either transferred fresh or were frozen. More embryos were successfully reconstructed with PEM than CF, but a higher number of reconstructed embryos by CF developed to blastocyst at D + 7. In addition, in both systems more embryos were obtained after activation with DMAP than with CHX. The transfer of 141 embryos to recipients resulted in a pregnancy rate of 50%, and no differences were observed between the source of donor cell, the reconstruction methods, or the activation protocol. Six calves were delivered at term, and four survived. High pregnancy losses were observed throughout the gestation period.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Cell Fusion
  • Cell Nucleus / ultrastructure*
  • Cloning, Organism / methods*
  • Embryo Transfer*
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / physiology
  • Granulosa Cells / physiology
  • Leukocytes / physiology
  • Microinjections / methods
  • Nuclear Transfer Techniques*
  • Organ Specificity