Cloning using G0-arrested somatic cells has led to the suggestion that this stage of the cell cycle is necessary for the success of cloning. In this study we report that cloned mice can be generated from fetal fibroblasts arrested at metaphase of the cell cycle. The procedure involves fusing a metaphase-arrested fetal fibroblast to an enucleated oocyte. After parthenogenetic activation a polar body and single diploid pronucleus were formed. Some of these were allowed to develop to the blastocyst stage, while others were enucleated and the nucleus was transferred to an enucleated fertilized 1-cell embryo. After the single transfer technique, 2 out of 164 developed to late stages of gestation were dead with gross abnormalities. However, after the serial nuclear transfer, 5 out of 272 embryos were recovered live at Day 19.5, and 2 of these went on to develop into apparently normal adults. All of the cloned embryos showed severe placental hypertrophy and defective differentiation of placental tissues. This study illustrates that reprogramming can occur after nuclear transfer at metaphase of the cell cycle.
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