The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 52: 157 - 161 (2008)

Vol 52, Issue 2-3

Special Issue: Developmental Biology in Poland

Experimental embryology of mammals at the Jastrzebiec Institute of Genetics and Animal Breeding

Published: 30 November -0001

Jolanta Karasiewicz* and Jacek Andrzej Modlinski

Department of Experimental Embryology, Institute of Genetics and Animal Breeding, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland


Our Department of Experimental Embryology originated from The Laboratory of Embryo Biotechnology, which was organized and directed by Dr. Maria Czlonkowska until her premature death in 1991. Proving successful international transfer of frozen equine embryos and generation of an embryonic sheep-goat chimaera surviving ten years were outstanding achievements of her term. In the 1990s, we produced advanced fetuses of mice after reconstructing enucleated oocytes with embryonic stem (ES) cells, as well as mice originating entirely from ES cells by substitution of the inner cell mass with ES cells. Attempts at obtaining ES cells in sheep resulted in the establishment of embryo-derived epithelioid cell lines from Polish Heatherhead and Polish Merino breeds, producing overt chimaeras upon blastocyst injection. Successful re-cloning was achieved from 8-cell rabbit embryos, and healthy animals were born from the third generation of cloned embryos. Recently mice were born after transfer of 8-cell embryonic nuclei into selectively enucleated zygotes, and mouse blastocysts were produced from selectively enucleated germinal vesicle oocytes surrounded by follicular cells, upon their reconstruction with 2-cell nuclei and subsequent activation. Embryonic-somatic chimaeras were born after transfer of foetal fibroblasts into 8-cell embryos (mouse) and into morulae and blastocysts (sheep). We also regularly perform the following applications: in vitro production of bovine embryos from slaughterhouse oocytes or those recovered by ovum pick up; cryopreservation of oocytes and embryos (freezing: mouse, rabbit, sheep, goat; vitrification: rabbit, cow); and banking of somatic cells from endangered wild mammalian species (mainly Cervidae).


mouse, sheep, cloning, chimaera, ES cell, cryopreservation

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