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Cell Stem Cell. 2011 Apr 8;8(4):371-5. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2011.02.007.

Defects in trophoblast cell lineage account for the impaired in vivo development of cloned embryos generated by somatic nuclear transfer.

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Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biology, Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 320 Yueyang Road, Shanghai, China.


The low success rate of somatic nuclear transfer (NT) is hypothesized to be mainly due to functional defects in the trophoblast cell lineage rather than the inner cell mass (ICM); this hypothesis, however, remains to be tested directly. Here we separated the ICMs from cloned blastocysts and aggregated the cloned ICM with two fertilization-derived (FD) tetraploid (4N) embryos. We found that the full-term development of cloned ICMs was dramatically improved after the trophoblast cells in the cloned blastocysts were replaced by cells from tetraploid embryos, thus providing direct evidence that defects in trophoblast cell lineage underlie the low success rate of somatic NT.

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