Fertility comparison between wild type and transgenic mice by in vitro fertilization
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Transgenic mice are increasingly used as animal models for studies of gene function and regulation of mammalian genes. Although there has been continuous and remarkable progress in the development of transgenic technology over several decades, many aspects of the resulting transgenic model’s phenotype cannot be completely predicted. For example, it is well known that as a consequence of the random insertion of the injected DNA construct, several founder mice of the new line need to be analyzed for possible differences in phenotype secondary to different insertion sites. The Knock out technique for transgenic production disrupts a specific gene by insertion or homologous recombination creating a null expression or replacement of the gene with a marker to localize it expression. This modification could result in pleiotropic phenotype if the gene is also expressed in tissues other than the target organs. Although the future breeding performance of the newly created model is critical to many studies, it is rarely anticipated that the new integrations could modify the reproductive profile of the new transgenic line. To date, few studies have demonstrated the difference between the parent strain’s reproductive performance and the newly developed transgenic model. This study was designed to determine whether a genetic modification, knock out (KO) or transgenics, not anticipated to affect reproductive performance could affect the resulting reproductive profile of the newly developed transgenic mouse. More specifically, this study is designed to study the impact of the genetic modification on the ability of gametes to be fertilized in vitro. We analyzed the reproductive performance of mice with different background strains: FVB/N, C57BL/6 (129Sv/J × C57Bl/6)F1 and outbred CD1® and compared them to mice of the same strain carrying a transgene or KO which was not anticipated to affect fertility. In vitro Fertilization was used to analyze the fertility of the mice. Oocytes from superovulated females were inseminated with sperm of same background. Fertility rate was considered as the percentage of two cell embryos scored 24 h after insemination. The data collected from this study shows that the fertilization rate is affected (reduced to half fold) in some of the transgenic mice compared to the respective Wild Type (WT) mice. For the WT the average fertility rate ranged from 80% (C57BL/6), 90% (FVB/N), 45% (129Sv/J × C57Bl/6)F1 and 43% (CD1). For transgenic mice it was 52% (C57BL/6), 65% (FVB/N), 22% (129Sv/J × C57Bl/6)F1 and 25% (CD1).
KeywordsTransgenic mice IVF Superovulation Cryopreservation
The authors thank Christine Force for technical assistance. This study was funded by National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health.
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