Transgene detection during early murine embryonic development after pronuclear microinjection

R. L. Page, R. S. Canseco, C. G. Russell, J. L. Johnson, W. H. Velander, F. C. Gwazdauskas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique was used to detect a whey acidic protein (WAP) gene and transgene presence in mouse ova cultured to various stages of development after pronuclear microinjection at the one-cell stage. The PCR technique detected an endogenous 442 bp WAP DNA sequence in 78% of one-cell, 88% of two-cell and 94% of four-cell ova, and in 95% of morulae and 97% of blastocysts. The heterologous WAP-human protein C transgene was detected in 88% of one-cell, 88% of two-cell and 44% of four-cell ova, and in 40% of morulae and 29% of blastocysts. For comparison, the integration frequency for transgenic mouse production using the same DNA construct was 22%. After five days of in vitro culture, embryos that were either developmentally arrested or fragmented were tested for the presence of the transgene. The injected construct was detected in 83% of arrested one-cell, 85% of arrested two-cell, and 85% of fragmented ova. In culture, only 28% of zygotes microinjected with DNA developed to the blastocyst stage compared to 74% of noninjected zygotes, while 63% of zygotes developed to the blastocyst stage after injection of buffer alone. Pronuclear injection of the transgene at concentrations of 1.5, 15 and 50 μg ml-1 resulted in 28, 11 and 9% development to blastocysts and 29, 86 and 88% transgene detection, respectively. Transgene detection was 85, 96 and 97% in degenerate embryos at the respective doses of DNA. These data show that pronuclear microinjection of the transgene is detrimental to subsequent embryonic development. Also, unintegrated copies of the transgene probably exist at least until the blastocyst stage, and thereafter are degraded to the extent that they can no longer be detected by PCR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-17
Number of pages6
JournalTransgenic Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • PCR
  • embryos
  • transgenic mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Transgene detection during early murine embryonic development after pronuclear microinjection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this