The current success rate of cloned mice from adult somatic cell nuclei is very low, whereas it is relatively high for cloned mice from ES cell nuclei. In this experiment, we examined whether the success rate of cloning from somatic cells could be improved via nuclear transfer embryonic stem cells (ntES cells) established from somatic cell nuclei. We obtained 11 cloned mice and 68 ntES cell lines from the somatic cell nuclei of 7 mice, and cloned 41 mice were cloned from the ntES cell nuclei. Unexpectedly, the overall success rate of cloning from ntES cell nuclei in this series was no better than when using somatic cell nuclei. Interestingly, full-term cloned mice were produced only via ntES cells from two individuals, but not by direct nuclear transfer from the somatic cells, and vice versa. Ultimately, we were able to obtain clone mice from 6 out of 7 individuals using either somatic cells or ntES cells. Thus, although ntES cells as donor nuclei do not absolutely assure a better success rate for mouse cloning than somatic cells, to preserve and clone valuable individuals, we recommend that ntES cell lines be established. These can then be used as an unlimited source of donor nuclei for nuclear transfer, and thus complement conventional somatic cell nuclear transfer cloning approaches.