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Reproduction. 2006 Jun;131(6):1063-72.

Production of horse foals via direct injection of roscovitine-treated donor cells and activation by injection of sperm extract.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, 77843-4466, USA.


We evaluated the effects of different donor cell treatments and activation methods on production of blastocysts after equine nuclear transfer. Nuclear transfer was performed by direct injection of donor cells, using a piezo drill, and standard activation was by injection of sperm factor followed by culture with 6-dimethylaminopurine. There was no difference in blastocyst development between embryos produced with roscovitine-treated or confluent donor cells (3.6% for either treatment). Addition of injection of roscovitine or culture with cycloheximide at the time of activation did not affect blastocyst development. Overall, transfer of eight blastocysts produced using roscovitine-treated donor cells and our standard activation protocol yielded three pregnancies, of which two (25% of transferred embryos) resulted in delivery of viable foals. Flow cytometric evaluation showed that roscovitine treatment significantly increased the proportion of cells classified as small, in comparison to growth to confluence or serum deprivation, but did not significantly affect the proportion of cells in G0/G1 (2N DNA content). Transfer of one blastocyst produced using roscovitine-treated donor cells, with addition of roscovitine injection at activation, yielded one pregnancy which was lost before 114 days' gestation. Transfer to recipients of two blastocysts produced using confluent donor cells with addition of cycloheximide at activation gave no resulting pregnancies. We conclude that roscovitine treatment of donor cells yields equivalent blastocyst production after nuclear transfer to that for confluent donor cells, and that direct injection of roscovitine-treated donor cells, followed by activation using sperm extract, is compatible with efficient production of viable cloned foals.

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