Development rates of male bovine nuclear transfer embryos derived from adult and fetal cells.
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This study compared the nuclear transfer (NT) embryo development rates of adult and fetal cells within the same genotype. The adult fibroblast cells were obtained from a 21-yr-old Brahman bull. The fetal cells were derived from a Day 40 NT fetus previously cloned using cells from the Brahman bull. Overall, similar numbers of blastocysts developed from both adult (53 of 190; 28%) and fetal (39 of 140; 28%) donor cells. Improved blastocyst development rates were observed when fetal cells were serum-starved (serum-fed 12% vs. serum-starved 43%; P < 0.01) whereas there was no similar benefit when adult cells were serum-starved (both serum-fed and serum-starved 28%). Day 30 pregnancy rates were similar for blastocysts derived from adult (6 of 26; 23%) or fetal (5 of 32; 16%) cells. Day 90 pregnancy rates were 3 of 26 for adult and 0 of 32 for the fetal cell lines. One viable bull calf derived from a 21-yr-old serum-starved adult skin fibroblast was born in August 1999. In summary, somatic NT embryo development rates were similar whether adult or fetal cells, from the same genotype, were used as donor cells. Serum starvation of these adult donor cells did not improve development rates of NT embryos to blastocyst, but when fetal cells were serum-starved, there was a significant increase in development to blastocyst.