Production of transgenic-clone pigs by the combination of ICSI-mediated gene transfer with somatic cell nuclear transfer

Transgenic Res. 2006 Apr;15(2):229-40. doi: 10.1007/s11248-006-0004-5.


The objective of this study was to examine whether the ICSI-mediated gene transfer method using in vitro matured oocytes and frozen sperm head could actually produce transgenic pigs. We also aimed at examining whether transgenic pigs can be cloned from somatic cells of a transgenic pig generated by the ICSI-mediated method. A bicistronic gene constituted of the human albumin (hALB) and enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) genes was introduced into pig oocytes by the ICSI-mediated method. Transfer of 702 embryos produced by the ICSI-mediated method into five gilts resulted in 4 pregnancies. When three of the recipients, which had received total 312 of the embryos were autopsied, 32 including 1 transgenic fetuses were obtained. One of the recipients gave birth to three live piglets including one transgenic pig, showing a strong green fluorescence in the eyeballs, oral mucous membrane and subcutaneous tissues. Fluorescent microscopy revealed uniform GFP expression in all cell lines established from kidney, lung and muscle of the founder transgenic pig obtained. Nuclear transfer of these cells resulted in stable in vitro development of cloned embryos into the blastocyst stage, ranging from 12.9 to 19.8%. When 767 of the nuclear transfer embryos were transferred to 5 recipients, all became pregnant and gave birth to a total of six live transgenic-clones. The transgene copy number and integrity in the founder pig were maintained in the primary culture cells established from the founder as well as in the clones produced from these cells. Our study demonstrates that the ICSI-mediated gene transfer is an efficient and practical method to produce transgenic pigs, using frozen sperm heads and in vitro matured oocytes. It was also shown that combination of ICSI-mediated transgenesis and nuclear transfer is a feasible technology of great potential in transgenic pig production.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified*
  • Cloning, Organism*
  • Gene Transfer Techniques*
  • Nuclear Transfer Techniques*
  • Sperm Injections, Intracytoplasmic*
  • Swine / genetics*