Cloning and assisted reproductive techniques: Influence on early development and adult phenotype

Randall R. Sakai, Kellie L.K. Tamashiro, Yukiko Yamazaki, Ryuzo Yanagimachi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Over the past 40 years, our increased understanding and development of cell and molecular biology has allowed even greater advances in reproductive biology. This is most evident by the development of various aspects of assisted reproductive techniques (ART), generation of transgenic animals, and most recently generation of mammals through somatic cell cloning. To date, cloning from adult somatic cells has been successful in at least 10 mammalian species. Although generating viable cloned mammals from adult cells is technically feasible and the list of successes will only continue to grow with time, prenatal and perinatal mortality is high and live cloned offspring have not been without health problems. The success of many of the proposed applications of the cloning technique obviously depends upon the health and survival of founder animals generated by nuclear transfer. This article summarizes the health consequences of cloning in mice, and discusses possible mechanisms through which these conditions may arise. In addition, we discuss the effects of ART in animal models and in humans. ART also involves some of the same procedures used in cloning, and there are reports that offspring generated by ART sometimes display aberrant phenotypes as well. It is important to point out that although these techniques do sometimes produce abnormalities, the majority of offspring are born apparently normal and survive to adulthood. Additionally, we must emphasize that the effects of ART and cloning observed in animal models do not necessarily indicate that they will occur in humans. In this article, we review studies examining the phenotype of animals generated by cloning and various ART, and discuss clinical implications of these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-162
Number of pages12
JournalBirth Defects Research Part C - Embryo Today: Reviews
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Embryology
  • Developmental Biology


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