Viable and fertile mice can be generated by somatic nuclear transfer into enucleated oocytes, presumably because the transplanted somatic cell genome becomes reprogrammed by factors in the oocyte. The first somatic cloned offspring of mice were obtained by directly injecting donor nuclei into recipient enucleated oocytes. When this method is used (the so-called Honolulu method of somatic cell nuclear transfer [SCNT]), the donor nuclei readily and completely condense within the enucleated metaphase II-arrested oocytes, which contain high levels of M-phase-promoting factor (MPF). It is believed that the condensation of the donor chromosomes promotes complete reprogramming of the donor genome within the mouse oocytes. Another key to the success of mouse cloning is the use of blunt micropipettes attached to a piezo impact-driving micromanipulation device. This system saves a significant amount of time during the micromanipulation of oocytes and thus minimizes the loss of oocyte viability in vitro. For example, a group of 20 oocytes can be enucleated within 10 min by an experienced operator. This protocol is composed of seven parts: (1) preparing micropipettes, (2) setting up the enucleation and injection micropipettes, (3) collecting and enucleating oocytes, (4) preparing nucleus donor cells, (5) injecting donor nuclei, (6) activating embryos and culturing, and (7) transferring cloned embryos.
© 2017 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.