Document Type


Publication Date



Evidence indicates that failure of nuclear transfer (NT) embryos to develop normally can be attributed, at least partially, to the use of differentiated cells as the donor karyoplast. Blastocyst production and development to term of cloned embryos has been hypothesized to differ between population doublings of the same cell line as a consequence of changes in the levels of DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) and methylated DNA during in vitro culture. The objective of this study was to determine embryo production, developmental potential, and gene expression patterns of prehatched and posthatched embryos generated using donor cells with different levels of DNMT1 transcript. Day 7 embryos generated using donor cells with high and low levels of DNMT1 mRNA were transferred to recipient cows. Embryos recovered on Day 13 were morphologically characterized or used for gene expression analysis of DNMT, INFT, and MHC1. A higher proportion of 8- to 16-cell embryos developed to the blastocyst stage when cells with low levels of DNMT1 mRNA were used as donor nuclei. Day 13 NT embryos generated using donor cells with decreased levels of DNMT1 mRNA and capable of developing beyond the 8- to 16-cell stage produced a larger number of apparently developing embryos, larger conceptuses, and a higher expression of DNMT3A transcript than NT embryos reconstructed using cells with high levels of DNMT1 mRNA. However, abnormal gene expression of DNMT, INFT, and MHC1 was noted in the majority of cloned embryos, indicating inefficient nuclear reprogramming and retarded embryo development. Furthermore, aberrant DNMT1 expression may partially contribute to the inefficient nuclear reprogramming observed in cloned embryos. © 2008 by the Society for the Study of Reproduction, Inc.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Biology of Reproduction

First Page


Last Page