The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 39: 639 - 644 (1995)

Vol 39, Issue 4

Nuclear remodelling and early development in cryopreserved, porcine primordial germ cells following nuclear transfer into in vitro-matured oocytes

Published: 1 August 1995

L Liu, R M Moor, S Laurie and E Notarianni

Department of Development and Signalling, Babraham Institute, Cambridge, United Kingdom.


Nuclear transfer was conducted in the pig using, as karyoplasts, primordial germ cells which had been cryopreserved. The cytoplasts were presumptive S- or MII-phase, in vitro-matured oocytes, which had been enucleated mechanically. Enucleation was effective in 94.3% of cases. Karyoplasts were introduced into the perivitelline space, in close contact with the cytoplasts, and the complexes fused by electrical stimulation and activation. Activation was successful in 82-88% of nonmanipulated, pulsed oocytes, and in 55% of germ cell-oocyte complexes. The reconstituted embryos were examined for nuclear remodelling and cleavage in vitro. Nuclear swelling was more prominent when MII-phase cytoplasts, rather than S-phase, cytoplasts, were used. After 24 h in culture, the cleavage rate was not significantly different whether blastomeres or primordial germ cells were used as karyoplasts, and whether MII-phase or S-phase cytoplasts were used. However, after 72 h in culture, the developmental rate was higher when MII-phase cytoplasts (75%) were used for the recipients of blastomeres compared with S-phase cytoplasts (38.5%, p < 0.05). Similar tendencies were observed with germ-cell nuclear transfer when inositol was used as medium for electrofusion (60% vs 27.8%, p < 0.05). Furthermore, when MII-phase cytoplasts were used, the nuclear transferred embryos derived from blastomeres developed at a significantly higher rate than from primordial germ cells (37.5%, p < 0.05). We conclude that cryopreserved primordial germ cells are competent to undergo nuclear remodelling and cleavage during 72 h or incubation in vitro to the 4-cell stage, following nuclear transfer to enucleated, activated (S-) or MII-phase oocytes. This experimental system may help to elucidate events in the early development of pig embryo following nuclear transfer using germ cells as karyoplasts.

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