Double nuclear transfer begins with the transfer of nuclear DNA from a donor cell into an enucleated recipient oocyte. This reconstructed oocyte is allowed to develop to the pronuclear stage, where the pronuclei are transferred into an enucleated zygote. This reconstructed zygote is then transferred to a surrogate sow. The genetic integrity of cloned offspring can be compromised by the transmission of mitochondrial DNA from the donor cell, the recipient oocyte and the recipient zygote. We have verified through the use of sequence analysis, restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis, allele specific PCR and primer extension polymorphism analysis that following double nuclear transfer the donor cell mtDNA is eliminated. However, it is likely that the recipient oocyte and zygote mitochondrial DNA are transmitted to the offspring, indicating bimaternal mitochondrial DNA transmission. This pattern of mtDNA inheritance is similar to that observed following cytoplasmic transfer and violates the strict unimaternal inheritance of mitochondrial DNA to offspring. This form of transmission raises concerns regarding the genetic integrity of cloned offspring and their uses in studies that require metabolic analysis or a stable genetic environment where only one variable is under analysis, such as in knockout technology.
(c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.