Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 333, Issue 1, pp 105–114 | Cite as

Placental microstructure and efficiency in cloned bovines: a design-based stereological approach

  • Antonio Augusto Coppi Maciel RibeiroEmail author
  • Procássia Maria de Oliveira Lacerda
  • Mariana Pereira de Melo
  • Júlio César de Carvalho Balieiro
  • Romeu Rodrigues de Souza
Regular Article


Somatic nuclear transfer allows scientists to produce identical copies of individuals (clones) and offers the potential for research in various fields. However, the production of cloned bovines is inefficient, partly because of high rates of embryonic mortality associated with abnormal placental development, although the exact mechanisms are still unclear. In the present study, we have applied design-based stereological methods to quantify placental morphology in cloned and non-cloned Nelore bovines (280–297 days of gestation). We have found no differences for any of the following parameters: number and volume of placentomes, villous volume and surface area, volume and number of star volume units and placental efficiency. Therefore, placental deficiency is unlikely to be attributable to its villous component. Nevertheless, new studies should focus on other placental constituents, e.g. capillaries, trophoblast cells and feto-maternal exchange surface area.


Clones Fetus Placenta Stereology Bovine 



The authors are extremely grateful to Prof. Terry Mayhew (Nottingham, UK) for practical advice on stereological methods and organ sampling and for help with interpreting results. A.A.C.M.R. thanks Prof. Flávio Vieira Meirelles from the Departamento de Ciências Básicas, Faculdade de Zootecnia e Engenharia de Alimentos in Pirassununga, São Paulo, Brazil, for producing all the cloned bovines used in this investigation. P.M.O.L. is also grateful to Prof. Maria Angélica Miglino.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonio Augusto Coppi Maciel Ribeiro
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  • Procássia Maria de Oliveira Lacerda
    • 1
  • Mariana Pereira de Melo
    • 2
  • Júlio César de Carvalho Balieiro
    • 3
  • Romeu Rodrigues de Souza
    • 4
  1. 1.Laboratory of Stochastic Stereology and Chemical Anatomy, Department of Surgery, College of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of São Paulo (USP)São PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Department of Statistics, Institute of Mathematics and StatisticsUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Basic Science, College of Animal Science and Food EngineeringUniversity of Sao PauloPirassunungaBrazil
  4. 4.Physical Education Post-graduate CourseSão Judas Tadeu UniversitySão PauloBrazil
  5. 5.Departamento de Cirurgia, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e ZootecniaUniversidade de São Paulo (USP)São PauloBrazil

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