Reproductive technologies relevant to the genome resource bank in Carnivora.
This work was undertaken in order to study the developmental competence of nuclear transfer (NT) into cat embryos using fetal fibroblast and adult skin fibroblast cells as donor nuclei. Oocytes were recovered by mincing the ovaries in Hepes-buffered TCM199 and selecting the cumulus oocyte complexes (COCs) with compact cumulus cell mass and dark color. Homogenous ooplasm was cultured for maturation in TCM199+10% fetal bovine serum (FBS) for 12 h and used as a source of recipient cytoplast for exogenous somatic nuclei. In experiment 1, we evaluated the effect of donor cell type on the reconstruction and development of cloned embryos. Fusion, first cleavage and blastocyst developmental rate were not different between fetal fibroblasts and adult skin cells (71.2 vs 66.8; 71.0 vs 57.6; 4.0 vs 6.1% respectively; P < 0.05). In experiment 2, cloned embryos were surgically transferred into the oviducts of recipient queens. One of the seven recipient queens was delivered naturally of 2 healthy cloned cats and 1 stillborn from fetal fibroblast cells of male origin 65 days after embryo transfer. One of three recipient queens was delivered naturally of 1 healthy cloned cat from adult skin cells of female origin 65 days after embryo transfer. The cloned cats showed genotypes identical to the donor cell lines, indicating that adult somatic cells can be used for feline cloning.