Effects of Sperm Membrane Disruption and Electrical Activation of Oocytes on In vitro Development and Transgenesis of Porcine Embryos Produced by Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection

  • Shim, Sang Woo (Infertility Clinic, Department of OB/GY, Kyung-Hee Medical Center) ;
  • Kim, Young Ha (Department of Physiology, Dankook University School of Medicine) ;
  • Lee, Hoon Taek (Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Bio-Organ Research Center, Konkuk University) ;
  • Shim, Hosup (Department of Physiology, Dankook University School of Medicine)
  • Received : 2007.06.11
  • Accepted : 2007.10.16
  • Published : 2008.03.01


The intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) procedure has recently been utilized to produce transgenic animals and may serve as an alternative to the conventional pronuclear microinjection in species such as pigs whose ooplasm is opaque and pronuclei are often invisible. In this study, the effects of sperm membrane disruption and electrical activation of oocytes on in vitro development and expression of transgene green fluorescent protein (GFP) in ICSI embryos were tested to refine this recently developed procedure. Prior to ICSI, sperm heads were treated with Triton X-100+NaCl or Triton X-100+NaCl+NaOH, to disrupt membrane to be permeable to exogenous DNA, and incubated with linearized pEGFP-N1 vector. To induce activation of oocytes, a single DC pulse of 1.3 kV/cm was applied to oocytes for $30{\mu}sec$. After ICSI was performed with the aid of a micromanipulator, in vitro development of embryos and GFP expression were monitored. The chemical treatment to disrupt sperm membrane did not affect the developmental competence of embryos. 40 to 60% of oocytes were cleaved after injection of sperm heads with disrupted membrane, whereas 48.6% (34/70) were cleaved without chemical treatment. Regardless of electrical stimulation to induce activation, oocytes were cleaved after ICSI, reflecting that, despite sperm membrane disruption, the perinuclear soluble sperm factor known to mediate oocyte activation remained intact. After development to the 4-cell stage, 11.8 (2/17, Triton X-100+NaCl+NaOH) to 58.8% (10/17, Triton X-100+NaCl) of embryos expressed GFP. The expression of GFP beyond the stage of embryonic genome activation (4-cell stage in the pig) indicates that the exogenous DNA might have been integrated into the porcine genome. When sperm heads were co-incubated with exogenous DNA following the treatment of Triton X-100+NaCl, GFP expression was observed in high percentage (58.8%) of embryos, suggesting that transgenic pigs may efficiently be produced using ICSI.


Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection;GFP;Transgenic;Pigs


Supported by : Ministry of Science and Technology


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