Positional clonging (map-based cloning) of mutations or genetic variations has been served as an invaluable tool to understand in-vivo functions of genes and to identify molecular components underlying phenotypes of interest. Mice homozygous for the cerebellar deficient folia (cdf) mutation are ataxic, with cerebellar hypoplasia and abnormal lobulation of the cerebellum. In the cdf mutant cerebellum approximately 40% of Purkinje cells are ectopically located within the white matter and the inner granule cell layer (IGL). To identify the cdf gene, a high-resolution genetic map for the cdf-gene-encompassing region was constructed using 1997 F2 mice generated from C3H/HeSnJ-cdf/cdf and CAST/Ei intercross. The cdf gene showed complete linkage disequilibrium with three tightly linked markers D6Mit208, D6Mit359, and D6Mit225. A contig using YAC, BAC, and P1 clones was constructed for the cdf critical region to identify the gene. A deletion in the cdf critical region on chromosome 6 that removes approximately 150 kb of DNA selection. cdf mutant mice with the transgenic copy of the identified gene restored the brain abnormalities of the mutant mice. The positional cloning of cdf gene provides a good example showing the identification of a gene could lead to finding a new component of important molecular pathways.
To identify genes implicated in the control of pluripotency as well as characteristics of stem cells, we analyzed expression profiles of genes derived from mouse morulas, blastocysts, embryonic stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells, and uterus tissue cDNA microarray. Comparative analyses of their expression profiles identified putative clones that expressed specifically in specific samples or not in a specific sample. The expression pattern of these candidate clones was analyzed using RT-PCR and non-radioactive in situ hybridization. Functional annotation of these clones on pluripotency and stem cells and molecular mechanisms underlying many facets of mammalian development and differentiation.
1. About fifty thousand of cattle embryos were transferred and 16000 ET-calves were born in 1999. Eighty percents of embryos were collected from Japanese Black beef donors and transferred to dairy Holstein heifers and cows. Since 1985, we have achieved in bovine in vitro fertilization using immature oocytes collected from ovaries of slaughterhouse. Now over 8000 embryos fertilized by Japanese Black bull, as Kitaguni 7~8 or Mitsufuku, famousbulls as high marbling score of progeny tests were sold to dairy farmers and transferred to their dairy cattle every year. 2. Embryo splitting for identical twins is demonstrated an useful tool to supply a bull for semen collection and a steer for beef performance test. According to the data of Dr. Hashiyada(2001), 296 pairs of split-half embryos were transferred to recipients and 98 gave births of 112 calves (23 pairs of identical twins and 66 singletons). 3. A blastomere-nuclear-transferred cloned calf was born in 1990 by a joint research with Drs. Tsunoda, National Institute of Animal Industry (NIAI) and Ushijima, Chiba Prefectural Farm Animal Center. The fruits of this technology were applied to the production of a calf from a cell of long-term-cultured inner cell mass (1988, Itoh et al, ZEN-NOH Central Research Institute for Feed and Livestock) and a cloned calf from three-successive-cloning (1997, Tsunoda et al.). According to the survey of MAFF of Japan, over 500 calves were born until this year and a glaf of them were already brought to the market for beef. 4. After the report of "Dolly", in February 1997, the first somatic cell clone female calves were born in July 1998 as the fruits of the joint research organized by Dr. Tsunoda in Kinki University (Kato et al, 2000). The male calves were born in August and September 1998 by the collaboration with NIAI and Kagoshima Prefecture. Then 244 calves, four pigs and a kid of goat were now born in 36 institutes of Japan. 5. Somatic cell cloning in farm animal production will bring us as effective reproductive method of elite-dairy- cows, super-cows and excellent bulls. The effect of making copy farm animal is also related to the reservation of genetic resources and re-creation of a male bull from a castrated steer of excellent marbling beef. Cloning of genetically modified animals is most promising to making pig organs transplant to people and providing protein drugs in milk of pig, goat and cattle. 6. Farm animal cloning is one of the most dreamful technologies of 21th century. It is necessary to develop this technology more efficient and stable as realistic technology of the farm animal production. We are making researches related to the best condition of donor cells for high productivity of cloning, genetic analysis of cloned animals, growth and performance abilities of clone cattle and pathological and genetical analysis of high rates of abortion and stillbirth of clone calves (about 30% of periparutum mortality). 7. It is requested in the report of Ministry of Health, labor and Welfare to make clear that carbon-copy cattle(somatic cell clone cattle) are safe and heathy for a commercial market since the somatic cell cloning is a completely new technology. Fattened beef steers (well-proved normal growth) and milking cows(shown a good fertility) are now provided for the assessment of food safety.
One of the problems associated with in vitro culture of primordial gern cells (PGCs) is the large loss of cells during the initial period of culture. This study characterized the initial loss and determined the effectiveness of two classes of apoptosis inhibitors, protease inhibitors and antioxidants, on the ability of the porcine PGCs to survive in culture. Results from electron microscopic analysis and in situ DNA fragmentation assay indicated that porcine PGCs rapidly undergo apoptosis when placed in culture. Additionally, \ulcorner2-macroglobulin, a protease inhibitor and cytokine carrier, and N-acetylcysteine, an antioxidant, increased the survival of PGCs in vitro. While other protease inhibitors tested did not affect survival of PGCs, all antioxidants tested improved survival of PGCs (p<0.05). Further results indicated that the beneficial effect of the antioxidants was critical only during the initial period of culture. Finally, it was determined that in short-term culture, in the absence of feeder layer, antioxidants could partially replace the effect(s) of growth factors and reduce apoptosis. Collectively, these results indicate that the addition of \ulcorner2-macroglobulin and antioxidatns can increase the number of PGCs in vitro by suppressing apoptosis.