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Letters to Nature
Nature 315, 680 - 683 (20 June 1985); doi:10.1038/315680a0

Production of transgenic rabbits, sheep and pigs by microinjection

Robert E. Hammer*, Vernon G. Pursel, Caird E. Rexroad Jr, Robert J. Wall, Douglas J. Bolt, Karl M. Ebert*, Richard D. Palmiter & Ralph L. Brinster*

*Laboratory of Reproductive Physiology, School of Veterinary Medicine University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA
Reproduction Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, Beltsville, Maryland 20705, USA
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Biochemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA

Direct microinjection has been used to introduce foreign DNA into a number of terminally differentiated cell types as well as embryos of several species including sea urchin1, Candida elegans 2, Xenopus 3, Drosophila 4,5 and mice6–11. Various genes have been successfully introduced into mice including constructs consisting of the mouse metallothionein-I (MT) promoter/regulator region fused to either the rat or human growth hormone (hGH) structural genes. Transgenic mice harbouring such genes commonly exhibit high, metal-inducible levels of the fusion messenger RNA in several organs, substantial quantities of the foreign growth hormone in serum and enhanced growth12,13. In addition, the gene is stably incorporated into the germ line, making the phenotype heritable. Because of the scientific importance and potential economic value of transgenic livestock containing foreign genes, we initiated studies on large animals by microinjecting the fusion gene, MThGH 13, into the pronuclei or nuclei of eggs from superovulated rabbits, sheep and pigs. We report here integration of the gene in all three species and expression of the gene in transgenic rabbits and pigs.

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