Production of cloned and transgenic embryos using buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) embryonic stem cell-like cells isolated from in vitro fertilized and cloned blastocysts
George, A.; Sharma, R.; Singh, K.P.; Panda, S.K.; Singla, S.K.; Palta, P.; Manik, R.; Chauhan, M.S.
Cellular Reprogramming 13(3): 263-272
Here, we report the isolation and characterization of embryonic stem (ES) cell-like cells from cloned blastocysts, generated using fibroblasts derived from an adult buffalo (BAF). These nuclear transfer embryonic stem cell-like cells (NT-ES) grew in well-defined and dome-shaped colonies. The expression pattern of pluripotency marker genes was similar in both NT-ES and in vitro fertilization (IVF) embryo-derived embryonic stem cell-like cells (F-ES). Upon spontaneous differentiation via embryoid body formation, cells of different morphology were observed, among which predominant were endodermal-like and epithelial-like cell types. The ES cell-like cells could be passaged only mechanically and did not form colonies when plated as single cell suspension at different concentrations. When F-ES cell-like, NT-ES cell-like, and BAF cells of same genotype were used for hand-made cloning (HMC), no significant difference (p > 0.05) was observed in cleavage and blastocyst rate. Following transfer of HMC embryos to synchronized recipients, pregnancies were established only with F-ES cell-like and BAF cell-derived embryos, and one live calf was born from F-ES cell-like cells. Further, when transfected NT-ES cell-like cells and BAF were used for HMC, no significant difference (p > 0.05) was observed between cleavage and blastocyst rate. In conclusion, here we report for the first time the derivation of ES cell-like cells from an adult buffalo, and its genetic modification. We also report the birth of a live cloned calf from buffalo ES cell-like cells.