A number of studies have postulated that efficiency in mammalian cloning is inversely correlated with donor cell differentiation status and may be increased by using undifferentiated cells as nuclear donors. Here, we attempted the recloning of dogs by nuclear transfer of canine adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (cAd-MSCs) from a transgenic cloned beagle to determine if cAd-MSCs can be a suitable donor cell type. In order to isolate cAd-MSCs, adipose tissues were collected from a transgenic cloned beagle produced by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) of canine fetal fibroblasts modified genetically with a red fluorescent protein (RFP) gene. The cAd-MSCs expressed the RFP gene and cell-surface marker characteristics of MSCs including CD29, CD44 and thy1.1. Furthermore, cAd-MSCs underwent osteogenic, adipogenic, myogenic, neurogenic and chondrogenic differentiation when exposed to specific differentiation-inducing conditions. In order to investigate the developmental potential of cAd-MSCs, we carried out SCNT. Fused-couplets (82/109, 75.2%) were chemically activated and transferred into the uterine tube of five naturally estrus-synchronized surrogates. One of them (20%) maintained pregnancy and subsequently gave birth to two healthy cloned pups. The present study demonstrated for the first time the successful production of cloned beagles by nuclear transfer of cAd-MSCs. Another important outcome of the present study is the successful recloning of RFP-expressing transgenic cloned beagle pups by nuclear transfer of cells derived from a transgenic cloned beagle. In conclusion, the present study demonstrates that adipose stem cells can be a good nuclear donor source for dog cloning.
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