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In Vitro Cell Dev Biol Anim. 2007 Jul-Aug;43(7):203-9. Epub 2007 Sep 1.

Culture, characteristics and chromosome complement of Siberian tiger fibroblasts for nuclear transfer.

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  • 1Institute of Bioengineering, Northwest A & F University, Yangling, Shanxi Province 712100, China.


Tiger (Panthera tigris Linnaeus, 1758) is a characteristic species of Asia, which is in severe danger. Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) is the largest one of the five existent tiger subspecies. It is extremely endangered. One new way for tiger protection and rescue is to study interspecies cloning. But there is few research data about Siberian tiger. In this study, we cultured Siberian tiger fibroblasts in vitro, analyzed their biological characteristics, chromosomes, and cell cycles, to provide not only nuclear donors with good morphology, normal biological characteristics, and chromosome quantity for tiger interspecies cloning, but also reliable data for further studying Siberian tiger. The results indicated that Siberian tiger ear fibroblasts can be successfully obtained by tissue culture either with or without overnight cold digestion, the cultured cells were typical fibroblasts with normal morphology, growth curve, and chromosome quantity; G0/G1 percentage increased and S percentage decreased with the confluence of cells. G0/G1 and S stage rate was significantly different between 40-50% and 80-90%, 95-100% confluence; there is no distinct difference between 80-90% and 95-100% confluence. The cells at the same density (80-90% confluence) were treated with or without 0.5% serum starving, GO/G1 rate of the former was higher than the latter, but the difference was not significant. GO/G1 proportion of 95-100% confluence was slightly higher than serum starving (80-90% confluence), but no significant difference. Therefore, the Siberian tiger fibroblasts we cultured in vitro can be used as donor cells, and the donor cells do not need to be treated with normal serum starvation during nuclear transfer; if we will just consider the rate of the G0/G1 stage cells, serum starvation can be replaced by confluence inhibition when cultured cells were more than 80-90% confluence.

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