Lee, K-Y., Huang, H., Ju, B., Yang, Z., and Lin, S. (2002) Cloned zebrafish by nuclear transfer from long-term-cultured cells. Nat. Biotechnol.. 20(8):795-799.
Although mammals have been cloned from genetically manipulated cultured cells, a comparable achievement has not been realized in lower vertebrates. Here we report that fertile transgenic zebrafish can be obtained by nuclear transfer using embryonic fibroblast cells from long- term cultures. The donor nuclei, modified by retroviral insertions expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP), were transplanted into manually enucleated eggs. Overall, a 2% success rate was achieved, resulting in 11 adult transgenic zebrafish expressing GFP. These nuclear transplants produced fertile, diploid offspring, and their F1/F2 progeny continued to express GFP in a pattern identical to that of the founder fish. This finding demonstrates that slowly dividing nuclei from cultured cells can be reprogrammed to support rapid embryonic development and sets up a foundation for targeted genetic manipulation in zebrafish.