Studies of cloned cattle and mice have resulted in controversies regarding the restoration of eroded telomere length of donor cells by the nuclear transfer process. Little is known about telomere lengths in pigs from either natural reproduction or nuclear transfer. In this study, we measured the telomere lengths in six major porcine organs from animals of different ages, and found that their lengths remained consistent throughout different tissues during fetal stages, and then shortened, in a tissue- specific manner, after birth. Telomeres of skin samples from six cloned transgenic pigs at 4 mo of age did not differ significantly from those of age-matched controls. Two cloned pigs that died shortly after birth had skin telomere lengths equivalent to those of late-stage fetuses.
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