Ventional chimeras, both host and introduced stem cells compete for the

Ventional chimeras, both host and introduced stem cells compete for the developmental niche to eventually become gametes. A further complication in this development is that most ESCs lines are a mixed population of cells with differing genetic characteristics which have arisen during cell culture [11,12]. These factors combine in chimeras leading to an unpredictable, variable (0?100 ) germline contribution from introduced ESC. Although chimera coat color is often used as an indicator of probability of germline transmission of ESC, there is no direct correlation between functional colonization of the germline and the skin [12]. Nonetheless, the 15481974 standard protocol followed by most laboratories is to breed visibly high coat color chimeras and wait for germline transmission to occur, or not. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for chimeras to be subfertile with respect for the desired genotype, with at times no ESC-derived animals being produced even after months of breeding. This “wait and see” approach detrimentally impacts project time, potentially delaying work which could have been repeated had there been an earlier and more definitive indicator of ESC germline transmission capability. We approached these issues by reasoning that the host embryo and later, the adult mouse is simply a vehicle to generate JI 101 web gametes from introduced stem cells. Thus host-derived germ cells and gametes are simply a competitive distraction. Based on this premise, we developed a host embryo, referred here to as the “Perfect Host” (PH), in which endogenous germ cells are ablated during development thereby producing a sterile animal. These PH-derived mice are the sterile F1 offspring of two fertile parents. The germ cells of these F1 offspring are ablated by expression of tissue-specific Cre recombinase (inherited from one parent) driving a genomic excision that activates diphtheria toxin A (inherited from the other parent), occurring at ,E10.5 [13,14,15]. This elimination of host germ cells avoids AKT inhibitor 2 competition and allows exogenously added stem cells (i.e. microinjected into blastocysts) to exclusively dominate the germline early in development. Since differences in the genetic background between ESCs and host embryos could influence competition and the ability of injected ESCs to colonize the germline, we verified the generality of this approach by injecting ESCs from four different genetic backgrounds into PH recipient blastocysts. With all four ESC lines, as well as with an iPS cell line, germline transmission occurred. Further, all offspring were derived paternally from the introduced stem cells, with no offspring being derived from the PH chimera paternal genome. The utility of this approach was further evaluated by comparing rates of transmission across eleven different genetically modified ESC clones injected into PH blastocysts versus conventional blastocysts. Using conventional host blastocysts only 6/11 of these ESC clones achieved germline transmission; in contrast, using PH blastocysts, 9/11 achieved germline transmission with all PH chimera offspring being derived from the microinjected ESCs. Collectively, these data strongly suggest that using PH blastocysts as ESC recipients is a more efficient means of producing germline transmission than conventional hosts. Furthermore, by reducing competition with the host, the PH approach can potentially enhance germline recovery from poor, or low-level germline transmitting ESCs, providing overall logistic adva.Ventional chimeras, both host and introduced stem cells compete for the developmental niche to eventually become gametes. A further complication in this development is that most ESCs lines are a mixed population of cells with differing genetic characteristics which have arisen during cell culture [11,12]. These factors combine in chimeras leading to an unpredictable, variable (0?100 ) germline contribution from introduced ESC. Although chimera coat color is often used as an indicator of probability of germline transmission of ESC, there is no direct correlation between functional colonization of the germline and the skin [12]. Nonetheless, the 15481974 standard protocol followed by most laboratories is to breed visibly high coat color chimeras and wait for germline transmission to occur, or not. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for chimeras to be subfertile with respect for the desired genotype, with at times no ESC-derived animals being produced even after months of breeding. This “wait and see” approach detrimentally impacts project time, potentially delaying work which could have been repeated had there been an earlier and more definitive indicator of ESC germline transmission capability. We approached these issues by reasoning that the host embryo and later, the adult mouse is simply a vehicle to generate gametes from introduced stem cells. Thus host-derived germ cells and gametes are simply a competitive distraction. Based on this premise, we developed a host embryo, referred here to as the “Perfect Host” (PH), in which endogenous germ cells are ablated during development thereby producing a sterile animal. These PH-derived mice are the sterile F1 offspring of two fertile parents. The germ cells of these F1 offspring are ablated by expression of tissue-specific Cre recombinase (inherited from one parent) driving a genomic excision that activates diphtheria toxin A (inherited from the other parent), occurring at ,E10.5 [13,14,15]. This elimination of host germ cells avoids competition and allows exogenously added stem cells (i.e. microinjected into blastocysts) to exclusively dominate the germline early in development. Since differences in the genetic background between ESCs and host embryos could influence competition and the ability of injected ESCs to colonize the germline, we verified the generality of this approach by injecting ESCs from four different genetic backgrounds into PH recipient blastocysts. With all four ESC lines, as well as with an iPS cell line, germline transmission occurred. Further, all offspring were derived paternally from the introduced stem cells, with no offspring being derived from the PH chimera paternal genome. The utility of this approach was further evaluated by comparing rates of transmission across eleven different genetically modified ESC clones injected into PH blastocysts versus conventional blastocysts. Using conventional host blastocysts only 6/11 of these ESC clones achieved germline transmission; in contrast, using PH blastocysts, 9/11 achieved germline transmission with all PH chimera offspring being derived from the microinjected ESCs. Collectively, these data strongly suggest that using PH blastocysts as ESC recipients is a more efficient means of producing germline transmission than conventional hosts. Furthermore, by reducing competition with the host, the PH approach can potentially enhance germline recovery from poor, or low-level germline transmitting ESCs, providing overall logistic adva.

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