Transgenic Mouse Methods and Protocols

Volume 693 of the series Methods in Molecular Biology pp 37-56


Generation of Chimeras by Aggregation of Embryonic Stem Cells with Diploid or Tetraploid Mouse Embryos

  • Jérôme ArtusAffiliated withDevelopmental Biology Program, Sloan-Kettering Institute
  • , Anna-Katerina HadjantonakisAffiliated withDevelopmental Biology Program, Sloan-Kettering Institute Email author 

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From the hybrid creatures of the Greek and Egyptian mythologies, the concept of the chimera has evolved and, in modern day biology, refers to an organism comprises of at least two populations of genetically distinct cells. Mouse chimeras have proven an invaluable tool for the generation of genetically modified strains. In addition, chimeras have been extensively used in developmental biology as a powerful tool to analyze the phenotype of specific mutations, to attribute function to gene products and to address the question of cell autonomy versus noncell autonomy of gene function. This chapter describes a simple and economical technique used to generate mouse chimeras by embryo aggregation. Multiple aggregation combinations are described each of which can be tailored to answer particular biological questions.

Key words

Mouse Embryo Chimera Aggregation Blastocyst Morula Development ES cells Diploid Tetraploid Developmental potential Lineage contribution