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J Biochem Biophys Methods. 1999 May 13;39(3):137-42.

Easy assessment of ES cell clone potency for chimeric development and germ-line competency by an optimized aggregation method.

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Department of Environmental Medicine, Osaka University Medical School, Suita, Japan.


Production of germ-line competent chimeric mice from embryonic stem (ES) cells is an inevitable step in establishing gene-manipulated mouse lineages. A common method used for creating chimeric mice is the injection of ES cells into the blastocoelic cavity (blastocyst injection). The aggregation method is an alternative way to introduce ES cells to the host embryo which is less difficult than blastocyst injection. Here we re-examined the condition of embryo-ES cell coculture on the aggregation method and found improvement of germ-line competent chimeric production by a simple modification of the coculture medium. Moreover, R1 ES cell and its 10 gene-manipulated subclones were tested by this method. Although all ES cell clones showed good morphology and a normal karyotype, the efficiency of chimeric development and germ-line transmission varied among clones and were classified into three grades according to germ-line competency. In the first group (class A), both the incidence of chimera with high ES cell contribution and the rate of germ-line transmission were fairly high. Germ-line competent chimeras were obtained but with rather low efficiency in the second group (class B), while another group (class C) showed an absence of high ES cell-contributed chimeras and no germ-line transmission. These results suggest the usefulness of this modified aggregation method to predict the potency of ES cell clones for germ-line competency.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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