Advances in transgenic rat production
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Predictable and reproducible production of transgenic rats from a standardized input of egg donors and egg recipients is essential for routine rat model production. In the course of establishing a transgenic rat service, transgenic founders were produced from three transgenes in outbred Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats and four transgenes in inbred Fischer 344 (F344) rats. Key parameters that affect transgenesis efficiency were assessed, including superovulation treatments, methods to prepare pseudopregnant recipients, and microinjection technique. Five superovulation regimens were compared and treatment with 20 IU PMSG and 30 IU HCG was selected for routine use. Four methods to prepare pseudopregnant egg recipients were compared and estrus synchronization with LHRHa and mating to vasectomized males was selected as most effective. More than 80% of eggs survived microinjection when modified pronuclear microinjection needles and DNA buffers were used. The efficiencies of transgenic production in rats and C57BL/6J (B6J) mice were compared to provide a context for assessing the difficulty of transgenic rat production. Compared to B6J mice, SD rat transgenesis required fewer egg donors per founder, fewer pseudopregnant egg recipients per founder, and produced more founders per eggs microinjected. Similar numbers of injection days were required to produce founders. These results suggest that SD rat transgenesis can be more efficient than B6J mouse transgenesis with the appropriate technical refinements. Advances in transgenic rat production have the potential to increase access to rat models.
KeywordsTransgenic rats Sprague-Dawley rats Fischer 344 rats Superovulation C57BL/6 transgenic mice Transgenic efficiency Microinjection
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We thank Colin Bishop, Yuji Ikeno, Sean Morrison, R. Scott Turner, Robert Thompson, and Roger Wiggins for providing transgenes and genotyping. We thank Tina Hutchinson and Corey Ziebell for their help managing the rat colonies and Maggie Van Keuren for C57BL/6J microinjection data. We thank Anne Rouleau for advice on mechanical stimulation. T.S. thanks Joe Warren for introducing him to the making of transgenic rats. Support was received from NIH grants CA46592, AR20557, DK34933, and AG013283. Additional support was provided by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Michigan Technology Tri-Corridor (Grant 085P1000815).
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