The giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) somatic nucleus can dedifferentiate in rabbit ooplasm and support early development of the reconstructed egg
Chen D., Sun Q., Liu J., Li G., Lian L., Wang M., Han Z., Song X., Li J., Sun Q., Chen Y., Zhang Y., Ding B.
The giant panda skeletal muscle cells, uterus epithelial cells and mammary gland cells from an adult individual were cultured and used as nucleus donor for the construction of interspecies embryos by transferring them into enucleated rabbit eggs. All the three kinds of somatic cells were able to reprogram in rabbit coplasm and support early embryo development, of which mammary gland cells were proven to be the best, followed by uterus epithelial cells and skeletal muscle cells. The experiments showed that direct injection of mammary gland cell into enucleated rabbit ooplasm, combined with in vivo development in ligated rabbit oviduct, achieved higher blastocyst development than in vitro culture after the somatic cell was injected into the perivitelline space and fused with the enucleated egg by electrical stimulation. The chromosome analysis demonstrated that the genetic materials in reconstructed blastocyst cells were the same as that in panda somatic cells. In addition, giant panda mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) was shown to exist in the interspecies reconstructed blastocyst. The data suggest that (i) the ability of ooplasm to dedifferentiate somatic cells is not species-specific; (ii) there is compatibility between interspecies somatic nucleus and ooplasm during early development of the reconstructed egg.