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In vitro development of nuclear transfer embryos derived from porcine embryonic germ cells and their descendent neural precursor cells

  • Susa Shin (a1), Kwang Sung Ahn (a1), Seong-Jun Choi (a2), Soon Young Heo (a3) and Hosup Shim (a4) (a5)...


Undifferentiated stem cells may support a greater development of cloned embryos compared with differentiated cell types due to their ease of reprogramming during the nuclear transfer (NT) process. Hence, stem cells may be more suitable as nuclear donor cells for NT procedures than are somatic cells. Embryonic germ (EG) cells are undifferentiated stem cells that are isolated from cultured primordial germ cells (PGC) and can differentiate into several cell types. In this study, the in vitro development of NT embryos using porcine EG cells and their derivative neural precursor (NP) cells was investigated, thus eliminating any variation in genetic differences. The rates of fusion did not differ between NT embryos from EG and NP cells; however, the rate of cleavage in NT embryos derived from EG cells was significantly higher (p < 0.05) than that from NP cells (141/247 [57.1%] vs. 105/228 [46.1%]). Similarly, the rate of blastocyst development was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in NT using EG cells than the rate using NP cells (43/247 [17.4%] vs. 18/228 [7.9%]). The results obtained from the present study in pigs demonstrate a reduced capability for nuclear donor cells to be reprogrammed following the differentiation of porcine EG cells. Undifferentiated EG cells may be more amenable to reprogramming after reconstruction compared with differentiated somatic cells.


Corresponding author

All correspondence to: Hosup Shim. Department of Nanobiomedical Science and WCU Center for Nanobiomedical Science, Dankook University, San 29 Anseo-dong, Dongnam-gu, Cheonan, Chungnam 330–714, Korea. Tel: +82 41 550 3865. Fax: +82 41 550 1149. e-mail:


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