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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Jul 1985; 82(13): 4438–4442.
PMCID: PMC391116

Factors affecting the efficiency of introducing foreign DNA into mice by microinjecting eggs.


Microinjection of foreign DNA into fertilized mammalian eggs is a convenient means of introducing genes into the germ line. Some of the more important parameters that influence successful integration of foreign DNA into mouse chromosomes are described. The effects of DNA concentration, size, and form (supercoiled vs. linear with a variety of different ends) are considered as well as the site of injection (male pronucleus, female pronucleus, or cytoplasm) and buffer composition. The optimal conditions for integration entail injection of a few hundred linear molecules into the male pronucleus of fertilized one-cell eggs. Under these conditions about 25% of the mice that develop inherit one or more copies of the microinjected DNA. The overall efficiency also depends on the choice of mouse strains; for example, generating transgenic mice that express foreign growth hormone genes is about eight times easier with C57/BL6 X SJL hybrid mice than with inbred C57/BL6 mice.

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