by Jung Eun Park, Min Jung Kim, Seung Kwon Ha, So Gun Hong, Hyun Ju Oh, Geon A. Kim, Eun Jung Park, Jung Taek Kang, Islam M. Saadeldin, Goo Jang, Byeong Chun Lee
Mature oocytes can be parthenogenetically activated by a variety of methods and the resulting embryos are valuable for studies of the respective roles of paternal and maternal genomes in early mammalian development. In the present study, we report the first successful development of parthenogenetic canine embryos to the post-implantation stage. Nine out of ten embryo transfer recipients became pregnant and successful in utero development of canine parthenotes was confirmed. For further evaluation of these parthenotes, their fetal development was compared with artificially inseminated controls and differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were compared using ACP RT-PCR, histological analysis and immunohistochemistry. We found formation of the limb-bud and no obvious differences in histological appearance of the canine parthenote recovered before degeneration occurred; however canine parthenotes were developmentally delayed with different cell cycle regulating-, mitochondria-related and apoptosis-related gene expression patterns compared with controls. In conclusion, our protocols were suitable for activating canine oocytes artificially and supported early fetal development. We demonstrated that the developmental abnormalities in canine parthenotes may result from defective regulation of apoptosis and aberrant gene expression patterns, and provided evidence that canine parthenotes can be a useful tool for screening and for comparative studies of imprinted genes.