The aim of the present study was to examine the production efficiency of cloned pigs by serial somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) and to ascertain any changes in the telomere lengths of multiple generations of pigs. Using fetal fibroblasts as the starting nuclear donor cells, porcine salivary gland progenitor cells were collected from the resultant first-generation cloned pigs to successively produce second- and third-generation clones, with no significant differences in production efficiency, which ranged from 1.4% (2/140) to 3.3% (13/391) among the 3 generations. The average telomere lengths (terminal restriction fragment values) for the first, second and third generation clones were 16.3, 18.1 and 20.5 kb, respectively, and were comparable to those in age-matched controls. These findings suggest that third-generation cloned pigs can be produced by serial somatic cell cloning without compromising production efficiency and that the telomere lengths of cloned pigs from the first to third generations are normal.
2008 Society for Reproduction and Development