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Nat Protoc. 2006;1(1):125-38.

Production of cloned mice by somatic cell nuclear transfer.

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Center for Developmental Biology RIKEN Kobe, 650-0047, Japan.


Although it has now been 10 years since the first cloned mammals were generated from somatic cells using nuclear transfer (NT), the success rate for producing live offspring by cloning remains < 5%. Nevertheless, the techniques have potential as important tools for future research in basic biology. We have been able to develop a stable NT method in the mouse, in which donor nuclei are directly injected into the oocyte using a piezo-actuated micromanipulator. Although manipulation of the piezo unit is complex, once mastered it is of great help not only in NT experiments but also in almost all other forms of micromanipulation. In addition to this technique, embryonic stem (ES) cell lines established from somatic cell nuclei by NT can be generated relatively easily from a variety of mouse genotypes and cell types. Such NT-ES cells can be used not only for experimental models of human therapeutic cloning but also as a backup of the donor cell's genome. Our most recent protocols for mouse cloning, as described here, will allow the production of cloned mice in > or = 3 months.

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