A series of experiments was performed to determine the dynamics of pronuclear development as well as the efficiency of either adenovirus-associated (AAV) or lentivirus-derived vectors to introduce a green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter gene into rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) embryos. Assessment of pronuclear development at various times after fertilization revealed that the appearance of pronuclei was determined by the presence of the first and the timing of the second polar body. The dynamics of pronuclear formation was a significant determinant of whether an oocyte reached the blastocyst stage, however, when the percentage of blastocysts were based on the number of zygotes, the timing of the appearance of polar bodies did not appear to have any effect on subsequent development. Injection of different AAV-derived vectors showed that the serotype of the vector did not affect development or the proportion of transgenic embryos. Moreover, all putative transgenic embryos proved to be expression mosaics. Injection of embryos with lentiviral vectors showed that timing of injection (before or after fertilization) had no effect on subsequent transgene expression, but that the type of reporter gene determined post-injection development and rate of transgenesis. The transfer of embryos following injection of a lentiviral vector into three recipients resulted in one pregnancy which was lost during the second trimester. Analysis of fetal tissues showed ubiquitous presence of the transgene and GFP expression in all tissues examined. These results show that lentivirus-derived vectors can efficiently transform rhesus embryos and are suitable for the generation of transgenic rhesus monkeys.
- In vitro fertilization
- Monkey embryo