Researchers at the Department of Cell Biology, Physiology and Immunology at Universitat Autnoma de Barcelona (UAB) are the first to have cloned mice in Spain. Cloe, Cleo and Clona are three female brown-coloured mice and were born respectively on 12 May, 3 June and 10 June. By means of nuclear transfer techniques, scientist collected mature oocytes, removed their chromosomes and substituted them for the nucleus of an adult somatic cell. The cloning of mice is part of a research being carried out to study new ways to improve the efficiency of the cloning process.
All three mice were or are being suckled with other non-clones and their growth parameters are within normal range, say researchers who were in charge of cloning the mice, Nuno Costa-Borges, Josep Santal and Elena Ibez from the Department of Cell Biology, Physiology and Immunology at UAB.
In order to clone the animals, researchers collected oocytes and surrounding cumulus cells from several female mice. The chromosomes were extracted from each of the oocytes and substituted with a cell from the cumulus by cytoplasm injection. Once the oocytes had been reconstructed, they were activated by simulating the stimuli occurring during fecundation so as to induce embryonic development. The cloned embryos were later transferred to receptor females.
The mice obtained by researchers at UAB, in addition to being the first of their species cloned in Spain, are the first animals to survive at birth and develop correctly. In 2003, Spanish scientists were able to clone a female Pyrenean mountain goat using a cell from the last animal of this species, which became extinct in 2000. The cloned animal however died 10 minutes after it was born due to a severe lung defect.
Increase in the efficiency of the cloning process
The cloning of the mice forms part of a research which scientists at UAB are carrying out to discover new ways of improving the efficiency of the cloni
|Contact: Maria Jesus Delgado|
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona