The present study was conducted to establish a porcine cell line from blastocysts produced in vitro and to examine the developmental ability of nuclear transfer embryos reconstituted with the cells and enucleated mature oocytes. When hatched blastocysts were cultured in Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium with supplements, no colonies of embryo-derived cells were observed. In contrast, 56% of embryos that were attached to feeder layers of STO cells formed colonies in NCSU-23 with supplements. When the colonies were subcultured in the absence of feeder cells, a cell line with an epithelial-like cell morphology was obtained. This cell morphology was stable up to at least passage 30. Although no fused embryos were observed when a pulse of 100 V/mm was applied, the fusion rate increased significantly at 150 V/mm (28%) and 200 V/mm (64%). At 200 V/mm, 39% of fused embryos cleaved, but no embryos developed beyond the 3-cell stage. When cocultured with electro-activated oocytes, percentages of reconstructed embryos cleaved (65%) and developed to the 4-cell stage (23%) were significantly higher than percentages for those (cleavage: 38%; 4-cell stage: 3%) in the absence of activated oocytes. At 7 days after culture, one reconstructed embryo successfully developed to the blastocyst stage in the presence of activated oocytes. When green fluorescent protein-expressing cells and enucleated oocytes were fused and the fused embryos were cultured with electro-activated oocytes, 3 of 102 reconstructed embryos developed to the blastocyst stage. All of the blastocysts were positive for fluorescent green under ultraviolet light. The results of the present study indicate that a porcine cell line can be established from the hatched blastocyst and maintained in vitro for a long period, and that reconstructed embryos obtained by transferring the blastocyst-derived cells into enucleated oocytes have the ability to develop to the blastocyst stage in vitro.
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