Although somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) technology and applications are well developed in most domesticated and laboratory animals, their use in dogs has advanced only slowly. Many technical difficulties had to be overcome before preliminary experiments could be conducted. First, due to the very low efficiency of dog oocyte maturation in vitro, in vivo matured oocytes were generally used. The nucleus of an in vivo matured oocyte was removed and a donor cell (from fetal or adult fibroblasts) was injected into the oocyte. Secondly, fusion of the reconstructed oocytes was problematic, and it was found that a higher electrical voltage was necessary, in comparison to other mammalian species. By transferring the resulting fused oocytes into surrogate females, several cloned offspring were born. SCNT was also used for producing cloned wolves, validating reproductive technologies for aiding conservation of endangered or extinct breeds. Although examples of transgenesis in canine species are very sparse, SCNT studies are increasing, and together with the new field of gene targeting technology, they have been applied in many fields of veterinary or bio-medical science. This review summarizes the current status of SCNT in dogs and evaluates its potential future applications.
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