Somatic cell nuclear transfer and derivation of embryonic stem cells in the mouse

Styliani Markoulaki, Alexander Meissner, Rudolf Jaenisch*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Addressing the fundamental questions of nuclear equivalence in somatic cells has fascinated scientists for decades and has resulted in the development of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) or animal cloning. SCNT involves the transfer of the nucleus of a somatic cell into the cytoplasm of an egg whose own chromosomes have been removed. In the mouse, SCNT has not only been successfully used to address the issue of nuclear equivalence, but has been used as a model system to test the hypothesis that embryonic stem cells (ESCs) derived from NT blastocysts have the potential to correct-through genetic manipulations-degenerative diseases. This paper aims to provide a comprehensive description of SCNT in the mouse and the derivation of ESCs from blastocysts generated by this technique. SCNT is a very challenging and inefficient procedure because it is technically complex, it bypasses the normal events of gamete interactions and egg activation, and it depends on adequate reprogramming of the somatic cell nucleus in vivo. Improvements in any or all those aspects may enhance the efficiency and applicability of SCNT. ESC derivation from SCNT blastocysts, on the other hand, requires the survival of only a few successfully reprogrammed cells, which have the capacity to proliferate indefinitely in vitro, maintain correct genetic and epigenetic status, and differentiate into any cell type in the body-characteristics that are essential for transplantation therapy or any other in vivo application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-114
Number of pages14
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • Blastocysts
  • Cloning
  • Embryonic stem cells
  • Mouse
  • Somatic cell nuclear transfer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Somatic cell nuclear transfer and derivation of embryonic stem cells in the mouse'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this