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The domestic pig is an important large animal model for preclinical testing of novel cell therapies. Recently, we produced pluripotency reporter pigs in which the Oct4 promoter drives expression of the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP). Here, we reprogrammed Oct4-EGFP fibroblasts employing the nonviral Sleeping Beauty transposon system to deliver(More)
Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) provide hope as a potential regenerative therapy for neurological conditions such as Parkinson's disease and spinal cord injury. Currently, ESC-based nervous system repair faces several problems. One major hurdle is related to problems in generating large and defined populations of the desired types of neurons from human ESCs(More)
This paper describes the derivation of a blastocyst following heterologous nuclear transfer (NT) into a human oocyte. It also demonstrates that a major obstacle to continuing research in human NT is the availability of suitable human oocytes. In this study, 36 oocytes were donated by 11 women undergoing four different treatments and their developmental(More)
The efficiency of animal production using cloning technology is still relatively low and research to determine a more efficient nuclear transfer procedure is ongoing. One approach which may be informative in assessing the viability of nuclear transfer embryos is the analysis of embryonic gene expression. Using RT-PCR techniques we have previously detected(More)
Placental abnormalities and failed implantation are characterized phenotypes that occur in many species as a result of somatic cell cloning. This study examines a number of genes, critical for early placental development and reports aberrant expression patterns in a number of cloned bovine blastocysts, thus implicating a role of these genes in failed(More)
The hand-made cloning (HMC) technique describes a simplified nuclear transfer process without the need for micromanipulators. The technique involves manual bisection of zona-free oocytes, selection of cytoplasts by Hoechst staining and fusion of a single somatic cell and two cytoplasts. In this proof-of-principle experiment, the objective was to examine the(More)
Preimplantation embryo development typically involves sequential morphological events connecting embryonic cleavage, morula compaction and blastocyst formation, and occurs in parallel with transcriptional regulation, specifically, the maternal to embryonic transition. The underlying homeostatic and metabolic mechanisms governing embryo development are(More)
Neural progenitor cells (NPCs) are promising candidates for cell-based therapy of neurodegenerative diseases; however, safety concerns must be addressed through transplantation studies in large animal models, such as the pig. The aim of this study was to derive NPCs from porcine blastocysts and evaluate their in-vitro differentiation potential. Epiblasts(More)
Several exciting approaches for restorative therapy in Parkinson's disease have emerged over the past two decades. This review initially describes experimental and clinical data regarding growth factor administration. We focus on glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), particularly its role in neuroprotection and in regeneration in Parkinson's(More)
The development of porcine embryonic stem cell lines (pESC) has received renewed interest given the advances being made in the production of immunocompatible transgenic pigs. However, difficulties are evident in the production of pESCs in-vitro. This may largely be attributable to differences in porcine pre-implantation development compared to the mouse and(More)