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Theriogenology. 2008 Sep 1;70(4):638-47. doi: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2008.04.032. Epub 2008 Jun 4.

Cloning endangered gray wolves (Canis lupus) from somatic cells collected postmortem.

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  • 1Department of Theriogenology and Biotechnology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, Republic of Korea.

Abstract

The objective of the present study was to investigate whether nuclear transfer of postmortem wolf somatic cells into enucleated dog oocytes, is a feasible method to produce a cloned wolf. In vivo-matured oocytes (from domestic dogs) were enucleated and fused with somatic cells derived from culture of tissue obtained from a male gray wolf 6h after death. The reconstructed embryos were activated and transferred into the oviducts of naturally synchronous domestic bitches. Overall, 372 reconstructed embryos were transferred to 17 recipient dogs; four recipients (23.5%) were confirmed pregnant (ultrasonographically) 23-25 d after embryo transfer. One recipient spontaneously delivered two dead pups and three recipients delivered, by cesarean section, four cloned wolf pups, weighing 450, 190, 300, and 490g, respectively. The pup that weighed 190g died within 12h after birth. The six cloned wolf pups were genetically identical to the donor wolf, and their mitochondrial DNA originated from the oocyte donors. The three live wolf pups had a normal wolf karyotype (78, XY), and the amount of telomeric DNA, assessed by quantitative fluorescence in situ hybridization, was similar to, or lower than, that of the nuclear donor. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated the successful cloning of an endangered male gray wolf via interspecies transfer of somatic cells, isolated postmortem from a wolf, and transferred into enucleated dog oocytes. Therefore, somatic cell nuclear transfer has potential for preservation of canine species in extreme situations, including sudden death.

PMID:
18534672
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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