Generation of mice derived from embryonic stem cells using blastocysts of different developmental ages

Reproduction. 2008 Nov;136(5):581-7. doi: 10.1530/REP-08-0184. Epub 2008 Aug 29.


We previously showed that increasing the cell number of host tetraploid (4n) embryos by aggregating multiple 4n embryos at two to four-cell stages can improve the birthrate of mice from embryonic stem cells (ES mice). In the present study, we assessed whether in vitro aged blastocysts (e.g., E4.5 or E5.5), where their cell number also increased with development, can be used as hosts for generating ES mice. As expected, the cell number of in vitro aged 4n blastocysts increased with development, i.e., 26.5+/-2.4, 49.6+/-8.4, and 84.9+/-20.9 cells for E3.5, E4.5, and E5.5 respectively. Three independent ES cell lines were injected into 4n aged blastocysts, and their developmental ability was compared with that of E3.5 4n blastocysts commonly used for this procedure. We found that the birthrate of ES mice derived from E4.5 blastocysts were comparable with those of mice generated from E3.5 blastocysts. On the other hand, the birthrates decreased when E5.5 blastocysts were used. These results suggest that not only the cell number but also developmental age is important for producing ES mice. We also discuss a comparison of the present findings with those of our previous study, where ES mice were generated using an aggregation method employing the same ES cell lines.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blastocyst / physiology*
  • Cell Line
  • Chimera
  • Cleavage Stage, Ovum / cytology
  • Cloning, Organism / methods*
  • Embryo Culture Techniques
  • Embryonic Development / physiology
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Female
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Microinjections
  • Nuclear Transfer Techniques
  • Pregnancy
  • Pseudopregnancy