Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Irina A. Polejaeva


Irina A. Polejaeva


Thomas D. Bunch


Heloisa M. Rutigliano


Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is a powerful tool for production of transgenic animals for various biomedical and agricultural applications. For instance, our group is using SCNT to produce transgenic goats to study the role of cardiac fibrosis in initiation and progression of atrial fibrillation. There is a possibility of cell transfer from a transgenic fetus to its non-transgenic surrogate mother, known as fetal microchimerism; from a transgenic mother to non-transgenic fetus, maternal microchimerism and from a transgenic twin to non-transgenic twin in utero. Initially, we have assessed the presence of fetal microchimerism in tissue samples from non-transgenic surrogates that delivered transgenic SCNT generated offspring. Then, the SCNT derived transgenic goats were naturally bred and non-transgenic offspring were used for the assessment of maternal microchimerism. Additionally, fetal-fetal microchimerism was evaluated using the tissue samples from non-transgenic twins of transgenic offspring. We investigated DNA from kidney, liver, lung, lymph node and spleen for the presence of neomycin resistant gene (Neo), which all transgenic SCNT generated females and their transgenic offspring tested positive for. We found no detectable maternal or fetal-fetal microchimerism, but fetal microchimerism was detected in lymph node of one of the surrogate dams that carried a SCNT pregnancy. The results of the study have direct implications on the use and disposal of non-transgenic surrogates and non-transgenic offspring.