Journal article Open Access

Pluripotency maintenance in mouse somatic cell nuclear transfer embryos and its improvement by treatment with the histone deacetylase inhibitor TSA

Hai, Tang; Hao, Jie; Wang, Liu; Jouneau, Alice; Zhou, Qi

Reprogramming of somatic cells to pluripotency can be achieved by nuclear transfer into enucleated oocytes (SCNT). A key event of this process is the demethylation of the Oct4 gene and its temporally and spatially regulated expression. Different studies have shown that it occurs abnormally in some SCNT embryos. TSA is a histone deacetylase inhibitor known to increase the efficiency of development to term of SCNT embryos, but its impact on the developmental features of SCNT embryos is poorly understood. Here, we have followed the fate of the pluripotent cells within SCNT embryos, from the late blastocyst to the early epiblast prior to gastrulation. Our data show a delay in development correlated with a defect in forming and maintaining a correct number of Oct4 expressing ICM and epiblast cells in SCNT embryos. As a consequence, during the outgrowth phase of embryonic stem cell derivation as well as during diapause in vivo, part of the SCNT blastocysts completely lose their ICM cells. Meanwhile, the others display a correctly reprogrammed ICM compatible with the derivation of ES cells and development of the epiblast. Our data also indicate that TSA favors the establishment of pluripotency in SCNT embryos.
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