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Stem Cells Dev. 2012 Sep 20;21(14):2606-12. doi: 10.1089/scd.2012.0040. Epub 2012 May 4.

Germline transmission of a novel rat embryonic stem cell line derived from transgenic rats.

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Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, Rat Resource and Research Center, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri 65201, USA.


Germline-competent rat embryonic stem (ES) cell lines are important resources for the creation of mutant rat models using ES-cell-based gene targeting technology. The ability to isolate germline-competent ES cell lines from any rat strain, including genetically modified strains, would allow for more sophisticated genetic manipulations without extensive breeding. Sprague Dawley (SD) males carrying an enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) transgene were used as the founder animals for the derivation of ES cell lines. A number of ES cell lines were established and subjected to rigorous quality control testing that included assessment of pluripotency factor expression, karyotype analysis, and pathogen/sterility testing. Two male ES cell lines, SD-Tg.EC1/Rrrc and SD-Tg.EC8/Rrrc, were injected into blastocysts recovered from a cross of Dark Agouti (DA) males with SD females. Resulting chimeric animals were bred with wild-type SD mates to verify the germline transmissibility of the ES cell lines by identifying pups carrying the ES cell line-derived EGFP transgene. While both ES cell lines gave rise to chimeric animals, only SD-Tg.EC1 was germline competent. This confirms the feasibility of deriving germline-competent ES cell lines from transgenic rat strains and provides a novel ES cell line with a stable green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter for future genetic manipulations to create new rat models.

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