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Cloning Stem Cells. 2006 Fall;8(3):166-73.

Use of adult mesenchymal stem cells isolated from bone marrow and blood for somatic cell nuclear transfer in pigs.

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  • 1Reproductive Biotechnology Group, Research Centre for Reproductive Health and Discipline of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) isolated from bone marrow were used to examine the hypothesis that a less differentiated cell type could increase adult somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) efficiencies in the pig. SCNT embryos were produced using a fusion before activation protocol described previously and the rate at which these developed to the blastocyst stage compared with that using fibroblasts obtained from ear tissue from the same animal. The use of bone marrow MSCs did not increase cleavage rates compared with adult fibroblasts. However, the percentage of embryos that developed to the blastocyst stage was almost doubled, providing support for the hypothesis that a less differentiated cell can increase cloning efficiencies. As MSCs are relatively difficult to isolate from the bone marrow of live animals, a second experiment was undertaken to determine whether MSCs could be isolated from the peripheral circulation and used for SCNT. Blood MSCs were successfully isolated from four of the five pigs sampled. These cells had a similar differentiation capacity and marker profile to those isolated from bone marrow but did not result in increased rates of development. This is the first study to our knowledge, to report that MSCs can be derived from peripheral blood and used for SCNT for any species. These cells can be readily obtained under relatively sterile conditions compared with adult fibroblasts and as such, may provide an alternative cell type for cloning live animals.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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