Genetic engineering of mammalian embryos.

Robert E Hammer, V. G. Pursel, C. E. Rexroad, R. J. Wall, D. J. Bolt, R. D. Palmiter, R. L. Brinster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


A gene consisting of the mouse metallothionein I promoter/regulator (MT) fused to the human growth hormone (hGH) structural gene (MThGH) was microinjected into rabbit, sheep and pig eggs. Visualization of nuclear structures was accomplished by interference-contrast (I-C) microscopy for rabbit and sheep eggs and by centrifugation and I-C microscopy for pig eggs. The gene integrated into the chromosomes of each species with an efficiency of 13% in rabbits, 1% in sheep and 10% in pigs. Human GH mRNA was detected in the liver of transgenic rabbits as well as tail and ear samples of pigs. Immunoreactive hGH was present in the serum of a transgenic rabbit and plasma of most transgenic pigs. In several pigs hGH levels increased between birth and 90 d of age. The presence of substantial quantities of hGH in plasma of pigs did not increase postnatal somatic growth rates. Founder animals will be bred and their transgenic and control progeny used to assess the effects of hGH on feed efficiency and carcass composition. These experiments demonstrate the feasibility of introducing foreign genes into the genome of several animal species by microinjection of eggs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-278
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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