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Sci Rep. 2017 Sep 22;7(1):12202. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-12201-0.

Production of immunodeficient rabbits by multiplex embryo transfer and multiplex gene targeting.

Author information

1
Center for Advanced Models for Translational Sciences and Therapeutics, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48109, USA.
2
Center for Advanced Models for Translational Sciences and Therapeutics, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48109, USA. echenum@med.umich.edu.
3
Center for Advanced Models for Translational Sciences and Therapeutics, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48109, USA. jiex@umich.edu.

Abstract

Immunodeficient mice have been used predominantly in biomedical research. Realizing that large animal species may have an enhanced ability to predict clinical outcome relative to mice, we worked to develop immunodeficient rabbits by CRISPR/Cas9. We first demonstrated that multiplex embryo transfer efficiently produced multiple lines of single-gene mutant (SGM) founders. Embryos microinjected with single sgRNA targeting FOXN1, RAG2, IL2RG or PRKDC were pooled for embryo transfer. As few as three recipients were used to produce twenty SGM founders for four genes. We then demonstrated the powerful multiplex targeting capacity of CRISPR/Cas9. First, two genes on the same chromosome were targeted simultaneously, resulting in three RAG1/RAG2 double-gene mutant (DGM) founders. Next we microinjected forty-five embryos each with five sgRNAs targeting FOXN1, RAG1, RAG2, IL2RG and PRKDC, and transferred them to two recipients. Five founders were produced: one SGM, two DGM, one triple-gene mutant and one quadruple-gene mutant. The present work demonstrates that multiplex embryo transfer and multiplex gene targeting can be used to quickly and efficiently generate mutant rabbit founders. Four lines of SGM (e.g. FOXN1, RAG2, IL2RG, and PRKDC) immunodeficient rabbits, as well as multigenic mutant immunodeficient rabbits have been produced. These animals may prove useful for biomedical research.

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