Generation of transgenic cynomolgus monkeys that express green fluorescent protein throughout the whole body
Generation of transgenic cynomolgus monkeys that express green fluorescent protein throughout the whole body
OPEN Nonhuman primates are valuable for human disease modelling, because rodents poorly recapitulate some human diseases such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease amongst others. Here, we report for the first time, the generation of green fluorescent protein (GFP) transgenic cynomolgus monkeys by lentivirus infection. Our data show that the use of a human cytomegalovirus immediateearly enhancer and chicken beta actin promoter (CAG) directed the ubiquitous expression of the transgene in cynomolgus monkeys. We also found that injection into mature oocytes before fertilization achieved homogenous expression of GFP in each tissue, including the amnion, and fibroblasts, whereas injection into fertilized oocytes generated a transgenic cynomolgus monkey with mosaic GFP expression. Thus, the injection timing was important to create transgenic cynomolgus monkeys that expressed GFP homogenously in each of the various tissues. The strategy established in this work will be useful for the generation of transgenic cynomolgus monkeys for transplantation studies as well as biomedical research.
human immunodeficiency virus is highly restricted; for influenza11 because the pathogenesis in mice is different
from that in humans and influenza virus causes hypothermia12 and severe viral pneumonia13,14; and for lung
disorders15 such as asthma, because the original findings of asthma obtained from mouse models had limited
success in humans studies16. Additionally, the pathological and behavioural phenotypes of mouse genetic models
are often quite different from the human condition. The inactivation of Parkinson?s disease (PD) genes Pink117,
Parkin18, Dj-119, Lrrk220 was insufficient to cause PD in mice. Triple knockout mice lacking Parkin, DJ-1, and
Pink1 have normal morphology, and normal numbers of dopaminergic and noradrenergic neurons in the
substantia nigra21. Mouse knockout models of human tumour suppressor genes also often display a tumour spectrum
at variance with the human pathology. For example, in humans, germline or somatic RB gene loss is associated
with the development of retinoblastomas and osteosarcomas and, later in life, with small cell lung carcinomas,
whereas mice with an Rb deletion fail to develop these types of tumours22. Accordingly, it is required to establish
transgenic animal models to recapitulate human diseases.
Nonhuman primates (NHPs) are considered one of the most valuable animal models. Several NHPs are used
as laboratory animals, including New World monkeys such as common marmosets, and Old World monkeys such
as rhesus monkeys and cynomolgus monkeys. Common marmosets clearly exhibit anthropoid primate
characteristics, are relatively inexpensive to maintain, mature by 1.5?2 years of age, produce next generation offspring by 3
years of age and give birth to 3?5 offspring per year23. However, marmosets exhibit physiological and functional
differences relative to humans to a greater degree than do Old World primates. These differences include pituitary
gonadotropin secretion and action24, their ability to maintain bone mass without the need for gonadal estrogen25,
lack of age-related ovulation decline26 and high fasting glucose and triglyceride levels27. In contrast, Old World
monkeys are closer to humans in organ size and structure and therefore have been used for disease models such
as stroke28,29, Parkinson?s disease30,31, Huntington?s disease32,33 and transplantation studies34,35. Especially,
cynomolgus monkeys are considered a useful animal model because they can be bred throughout the year in contrast
to rhesus macaques that have seasonal breeding pattern.
Green fluorescent protein (GFP) is frequently used in biomedical research and GFP-expressing animals are
an important source of bone marrow, spermatogonial stem cells and organ transplantation, and pre-implantation
embryos used to produce chimeric embryos. After the first transgenic NHPs were created by the transduction of
GFP retroviral vector in 200136, a transgenic NHP model of Huntington?s disease was developed37. In 2009, the
first transgenic NHPs with germline transmission were reported38. Recently, genome editing in monkeys using
the CRISPR/Cas9 system39 and TALEN system40 was developed and used to generate human disease models41.
Currently, GFP mice42, rats43, rabbits44,45, cats46, pig47, cattle48, common marmosets38 and rhesus monkeys36,37,49
have been produced, yet no GFP cynomolgus monkey has been generated.
We report here for the first time, the generation of a GFP-expressing cynomolgus monkey. Our data show
that the use of a human cytomegalovirus immediate-early enhancer and chicken beta actin promoter (CAG)
directed the ubiquitous expression of the transgene in cynomolgus monkeys. Furthermore, we show that
lentiviral injection into mature oocytes before fertilization is an efficient way to create transgenic NHPs with
homogenous expression of GFP in each tissue, including the amnion, and fibroblasts. We also clearly demonstrate the
fluorescence in the transgenic foetus was due to GFP expression and not autofluorescence, by using wild type
tissues as negative controls. This system will contribute to creating human disease models and is also a good tool
for transplantation studies.
Production of GFP transgenic cynomolgus monkeys. In rodents, the pronuclear injection of DNA
into fertilized eggs is an efficient strategy to generate transgenic animals. An alternative method is the use of
genetically engineered embryonic stem cells. However, these strategies have been unsuccessful in NHPs to date.
Since a transgenic marmoset with the capability of germ line transmission has been generated by injecting
lentivirus into the perivitelline space of a two-cell-stage embryo38, we followed the technique to create a transgenic
Firstly, we constructed a lentiviral vector that carries GFP cDNA under the control of human cytomegalovirus
early enhancer and chicken beta actin (CAG) promoter (Fig.?1A), because CAG promoter is able to achieve
ubiquitous expressions in various species50. Transfer of five lentivirus-injected embryos into three recipients resulted
in two pregnancies, one of which ended in a miscarriage of twins on day 92 of gestation (Table?1). Detailed
organ examination and histology identified no abnormalities (data not shown). Although one of the twins (#1)
showed no detectable fluorescence, the other (#2) showed strong fluorescence in the face, skin, placenta and brain
(Fig.?1B, data not shown). Strong fluorescence was observed in the organs of #2 foetus including the umbilical
cord, placenta and amnion compared with #1 foetus under a fluorescent stereomicroscope (Fig.?1C). PCR analysis
was performed to detect GFP transgene and demonstrated that the GFP transgene was integrated ubiquitously in
the genome of all tissues in #2 foetus, but not #1 foetus. Consistent with this, RT-PCR analysis indicated that GFP
mRNA was expressed ubiquitously in #2 foetus, but not #1 foetus (Fig.?1D). From these results, the #1 and #2
foetuses were determined to be wild type (WT) and transgenic (Tg), respectively. Abundant GFP mRNA expression
was detected in the brain, heart and pancreas in #2 foetus, while moderate GFP expression was detected in the
kidney, spleen and amnion by RT-quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) (Fig.?1E). We confirmed GFP protein expression
in these organs by immunohistochemistry with an anti-GFP antibody and found that fluorescence was detected
in all these organs from the #2 foetus (Fig.?2A). Strong fluorescence was observed in the heart, lung, spleen
and stomach from #2 foetus, but not #1 foetus or the miscarried WT foetus (Fig.?2A, Supplementary Fig. 1A),
under the same instrumental settings (same laser intensity, please see Materials and Methods). However, we
detected moderate fluorescence in the liver and kidney in #1 foetus that was WT as indicated by PCR analysis
(Fig.?2A). To investigate carefully the nature of the fluorescence, we examined tissues from the liver and kidney of
another miscarried WT foetus and found that these organs also had comparable fluorescence (Fig.?2A). Careful
comparison revealed significant differences in the intensity and pattern of fluorescence between WT and #2
foetus, demonstrating that the fluorescence observed in the tissues of #1 and WT foetuses were
autofluorescence and that the fluorescence in the #2 foetus was derived from GFP protein. Regarding autofluorescence, as
laser power increased, autofluorescence of hepatocytes in the liver and renal tubules in the kidney also increased
(Supplementary Fig. 1B). WT monkey face exhibited moderate autofluorescence as if it is GFP transgenic monkey
(Supplementary Fig. 1C), showing the importance of negative control. Taken together, we concluded that it was
very important to compare fluorescence of WT and Tg at the same time, and #2 foetus was Tg with ubiquitous
overexpression of the GFP protein.
GFP expression in the brain tissue. To investigate the detailed expression of GFP in the brain of a day
92 foetus, we examined the colocalisation of GFP, a radial glial and astroglial marker, glial fibrillary acidic
protein (GFAP), and a neuronal specific nuclear protein marker, NeuN (Fig.?2B). Widespread GFP expression was
observed throughout the cortex, including the forebrain, midbrain, and hindbrain. At a higher magnification,
neuronal GFP expression was identified by its colocalisation with NeuN in the prefrontal cortex (Fig.?2B). GFP
and GFAP were also colocalised in the lateral ventricle (Fig.?2B).
Germline transmission of the transgene. To investigate whether the transgene was transmitted to the
germline, we examined the colocalisation of GFP and VASA (DDX4), a marker for primordial germ cell (PGC)
of the ovary in the day 92 foetus. GFP and VASA were clearly colocalised in a subset of the ovary cells (Fig.?2C).
Expression of OCT4, another marker for PGC was also well overlapped with that of GFP (Fig.?2C).
Partial GFP expression in the peripheral blood and fibroblasts. Previously, GFP transgenic
marmoset showed partial GFP expression ranging from 0 to 19.1% in the whole peripheral blood38. To estimate the
percentage of GFP positive cells in the peripheral blood of #2 foetus, immunohistochemistry with an anti-CD45
antibody, a marker for white blood cells, was performed on the spleen and showed that 55% of CD45 positive cells
expressed GFP protein (Fig.?3A), indicating that peripheral blood cells only partially expressed GFP.
To characterize GFP positive and negative cells, we established fibroblasts from the #2 foetus tail and
found that about 60% of the cells were GFP-positive by FACS analysis (Fig.?3B,C). Interestingly, we found that
GFP-negative cells also carried GFP transgene, suggesting that the transgene was not transcribed (Fig.?3C).
Previous studies indicated that lentiviral transgene often undergo silencing through CpG methylation, and that
treatment with valproic acid, a histone deacetylase inhibitor, was effective to rescue silenced gene
transcription51. When GFP-negative fibroblasts were cultured in the presence of valproic acid, a significant number of
GFP-positive cells were observed, indicating that GFP silencing may be caused by histone deacetylation (Fig.?3D).
Taken together, a GFP cynomolgus monkey foetus was successfully obtained, yet it only showed partial GFP
expression and silencing of the transgene.
Optimization of lentivirus infection on GFP expression. To generate a transgenic cynomolgus
monkey that expressed GFP homogenously in each of the various tissues, we optimized the lentivirus injection
protocol. Since the lentivirus solution had a carryover of GFP protein contaminated in the process of virus production
(Fig.?4A), we purified the lentivirus solution further by centrifugation in a sucrose cushion to remove GFP protein
and obtained the highly purified lentiviral solution (Fig.?4A).
Wongsrikeao et al., reported that when virus was injected into mature oocytes before fertilization, uniform
infection was achieved in a cat embryo46. Therefore, matured oocytes were subjected to perivitelline-space
injection with lentivirus 4 h before intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) (PreI) (Fig.?4B). After the injection, the
oocytes were cultured for 4 h and subjected to ICSI and cultured until blastocyst stage (day 8).
Full-term development of GFP cynomolgus monkeys. An offspring (named PreI Tg #1) from the
PreI embryo was born successfully and showed strong fluorescence in the face and placenta compared with that
of WT offspring (Fig.?4C,D). Amnion of PreI Tg #1 monkey showed homogenous GFP expression at the cellular
level (Fig.?4E). PCR analysis was performed to detect GFP transgene and demonstrated that the GFP transgene
was integrated in the genomic DNA from umbilical cord and placenta (Fig.?4F), demonstrating that PreI Tg #1
monkey is a GFP transgenic.
Although PreI Tg #1 monkey clearly showed strong GFP fluorescence in the skin and homogenous GFP
expression in the amnion at the cellular level, GFP expressions in the tissues were not addressed due to
consideration for animal welfare. Another offspring (named PreI Tg #2) was born, but died 3 days after birth (Table?2).
Hypoplasia of the pituitary grand and pancreas were observed at the necropsy (data not shown). The whole
body of the transgenic cynomolgus monkey showed strong fluorescence under an excitation light (Fig.?5A). The
fluorescence was also detected in the placenta (Fig.?5A). PCR analysis indicated that GFP lentiviral transgene
was integrated into the genome of various tissues (Fig.?5B). RT-PCR analysis indicated that GFP was expressed
abundantly at the mRNA level in the brain, lung, kidney and stomach, while moderate GFP expression was
observed in the heart, liver, pancreas, spleen, intestine and testis (Fig.?5B,C). Immunohistochemistry revealed
abundant GFP expression in all tissues tested including the heart, lung, liver, kidney, spleen, stomach, and
intestine (Fig.?6A, Supplementary Fig. 2A,B). This was in sharp contrast with the autofluorescence observed in WT
tissues (Fig.?6A). GFP protein expressions were also evident in lateral ventricle and grey matter layer (Fig.?6B).
To investigate the contribution of the transgene to the germ cell lineage, we examined GFP expression in PGCs
and found that almost all VASA-positive PGCs expressed GFP (Fig.?6C). To examine the ratio of GFP positive
cells in offspring, high magnification images of sections were analysed and showed that >95% of cells were GFP
positive (data not shown). Furthermore, CD45 positive peripheral blood was analysed and 99% of CD45 positive
cells expressed GFP (Fig.?6D). To demonstrate this more clearly, fibroblasts were established from the tail and
ear of offspring, and almost all cells were GFP-positive under microscopic observation (Fig.?6E). Consistent with
this, FACS analysis of fibroblasts showed that nearly 100% of cells were GFP-positive (Fig.?6E). Collectively, these
results demonstrated that the GFP cynomolgus monkey created by PreI technique expressed GFP homogenously
in each of the various tissues.
Comparison of expression levels of GFP protein in tissues from Tg monkeys and the GFP
mouse. The green mice that ubiquitously express GFP have been created and been used for many biomedical
researches such as transplantation studies52. Although the generation of GFP rhesus monkey and GFP marmoset
have been reported36?38,49 previously, there was no study about the comparison of the level of GFP expression
with that of the GFP mice. To evaluate the usefulness of GFP cynomolgus monkey established in this study,
we compared GFP expression levels in tissues from GFP cynomolgus monkey with those from GFP mice42 by
western blot analysis. Strong GFP expressions were detected in lung, kidney and spleen of PreI Tg cynomolgus
monkey compared to those of GFP mouse (Fig.?7). #2 (Tg) foetus also expressed moderate level of GFP protein
(Fig.?7). Thus, GFP cynomolgus monkeys generated in this study expressed even higher level of GFP protein in
various tissues compared with those of GFP mice, and the technique established in this study will be very useful
for the creation of human disease models.
Transgenic NHPs will be valuable for human disease models, such as Parkinson?s disease and Alzheimer diseases.
So far, transgenic NHP models of Huntington?s disease37 and Parkinson?s disease53 have been created and reported.
GFP is frequently used in biomedical research and GFP-expressing animals are an important source of
transplantation studies. Previously, generation of GFP rhesus monkeys and GFP marmosets have been reported36?38,49, yet
no GFP cynomolgus monkeys. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study reporting the generation of
GFP expressing cynomolgus monkeys. The strategy established in this study will be valuable for generating
cynomolgus monkeys that homogenously overexpress a causative gene for human disease in each tissue.
During the generation of GFP cynomolgus monkeys, we were aware that moderate fluorescence expression is
detectable even in WT tissues. It was critically important to use WT tissues as a negative control to confirm the
fluorescence derived from GFP protein in transgenic tissues. It is important to note that some previous reports of
GFP transgenic monkeys showed only GFP transgenic tissues but not corresponding WT tissues36,37,49.
Our analysis indicated that when lentivirus was injected into a two-cell-stage embryo, partial GFP expression
was achieved. Although lentivirus can transduce non-dividing cells, integration is significantly slowed by the
nuclear membrane48,54. This has previously been observed in other species including marmosets38.This mosaicism
may be caused by the delay of lentiviral integration into the genome. Interestingly, a bovine study showed that the
lentiviral genome could not efficiently enter the pronucleus48. Wongsrikeao et al. examined the effect of infection
timing and found mosaic expression was able to be avoided by injecting lentivirus into cat oocytes before IVF46.
Consistent with this, when lentivirus was injected into cynomolgus monkey oocytes before fertilization, rather
than the two-cell embryo stage, we obtained offspring with homogenous GFP expression in each tissue, showing
that lentiviral injection into mature oocytes before fertilization is an effective way to create transgenic NHPs with
homogenous expression of GFP in each of the various tissues, including the amnion, and fibroblasts.
NHPs are invaluable models for high order brain research into disorders such as Parkinson?s disease, Autism
and Alzheimer?s disease. Alzheimer pathology is correlated strongly with the density of activated astrocytes55. In
these cells, the expression of GFAP is strongly upregulated56,57. In Parkinson?s disease patients, the
phosphorylation level of GFAP at serine 13 was significantly lower compared with control subjects58. As the present study
indicated that the GFP was expressed ubiquitously in various organs and cells including neuronal cells of transgenic
cynomolgus monkeys, this transgenic technique will be useful to create human disease models for Parkinson?s
disease and Alzheimer?s disease amongst others. The GFP cynomolgus monkey will also provide a source of green
pre-implantation stage embryos, which can be used for the production of chimeric cynomolgus monkeys by the
injection or aggregation with non-green embryonic stem cells.
Materials and Methods
Animals. Experimental procedures were approved by the Animal Care and Use Committee of Shiga University of
Medical Science and methods were carried out in accordance with the approved guideline (Approval number: 26?42).
Oocytes were collected from seven sexually mature female cynomolgus monkeys, aged 4?8 years and weighing 2.1?
3.9 kg. Twenty sexually mature females aged 4 years old and weighing 2.0?3.8kg, were used as recipients. Sperm were
collected from one sexually mature male cynomolgus monkey, aged 12 years and weighing 6.2 kg. Temperature and
humidity in the animal rooms were maintained at 25 ? 2 ?C and 50 ? 5%, respectively. Monkeys were housed
individually in cages (800 ? 500 ? 800 mm). The light cycle was 12h of artificial light from 8 am. to 8 pm., Each animal
was fed 20 g/kg of body weight of commercial pellet monkey chow (CMK-1; CLEA Japan, Inc., Tokyo, Japan) in the
morning, supplemented with 20?50 g of sweet potato in the afternoon. Water was available ad libitum.
Oocyte collection. Ovarian stimulation and oocyte collection were carried out as previously described by
Yamasaki et al.59 with some modifications. In brief, beginning at menses, the level of sex steroid hormones was
reduced by subcutaneous injection of 0.9 mg of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist (Leuplin; Takeda
Chemical Industries, Ltd., Osaka, Japan). Two weeks later, Micro infusion pump (iPRECIO SMP-200, ALZET
Osmotic Pumps Co., Cupertino, CA, USA) with 15 IU/kg human follicle-stimulating hormone (hFSH; Asuka
Pharmaceutical Co., Tokyo, Japan) was embedded subcutaneously under anesthesia and injected 7 ?l/h for 10 days.
On the day after the last hFSH injection, 400 IU/kg human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG; Puberogen, Nippon
Zenyaku Kogyo Co., Ltd., Fukushima, Japan) was injected intramuscularly. Oocytes were collected by follicular
aspiration 40 h after hCG treatment, using a laparoscope (LA-6500, Machida Endoscope Co., Ltd., Chiba, Japan).
Cumulus-oocyte complexes were recovered in Alpha modification of Eagle?s medium (MP Biomedicals LLC, Solon,
OH, USA), containing 10% Serum Substitute Supplement (SSS; Irvine Scientific, Santa Ana, CA, USA) at 38?C, in an
atmosphere of humidified 5% CO2 and 95% in air for 1?2 h. Oocytes were stripped off cumulus cells by mechanical
pipetting after brief exposure (<1 min) to 0.5 mg/mL hyaluronidase (Sigma Chemical Co., St. Louis, MO, USA),
adjusted with m-TALP (pH 7.4), a modified Tyrode solution, with, lactate, pyruvate, 0.3% bovine serum albumin
(Sigma Chemical Co.) and HEPES. Then, oocytes were transferred to m-TALP without hyaluronidase, at 38?C in 5%
CO2 until further use. Oocytes were classified by stages as germinal vesicle, metaphase I, metaphase II or degenerate.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection was carried out on metaphase
II-stage oocytes, as previously described59, in m-TALP containing HEPES (mTALP-HEPES). A glass needle
(Humagen Fertility Diagnostics, Charlottesville, VA, USA), connected to an injector and an inverted microscope
(Olympus Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan) with a micromanipulator, was used for sperm injection. Intracytoplasmic sperm
injection was performed with fresh sperm collected by electric stimulation of the penis with no anaesthesia.
Following ICSI, embryos were cultured in GIBCO CMRL Medium-1066 (Invitrogen, Carlsbad, CA, USA)
supplemented with 20% bovine serum (Invitrogen) at 38 ?C in 5% CO2 and 5% O2 then blastocyst stage embryos were
generated in vitro.
Lentiviral vector construction. pCSII-CAG-EGFP was constructed by introducing CAG promoter from
pCAGGS and GFP cDNA into pCSII-EF-MCS-IRES2-Venus plasmid. pCAGGS was provided by Dr. Hitoshi
Niwa (Kumamoto Univ.).
Lentiviral vector package and transduction. Viral particles were obtained through Lipofectamine 2000
(Life Technologies, Calsbad, CA, USA) transfection in 293FT cells, and with packaging plasmids VSVG, RSV-Rev,
HIVgp plasmids. Viral supernatants were harvested after 48 and 72 h of transfection. The supernatant then was
clarified by centrifugation (1,000 ? g for 5 min at room temperature), passed through a PVDF filter (pore size,
0.22 ?m), and concentrated by ultracentrifugation (50,000 ? g for 2 h at 4 ?C). The pellet was suspended in PBS
and centrifuged on a 20% (w/v) sucrose cushion. After the viral pellet was resuspended in CMRL, the infectious
unit (IU) was determined by Lenti-X? p24 Rapid Titer Kit (Takara bio, Shiga, Japan).
Virus injection to embryos. For virus injection to the two-cell-stage embryos, two-cell-stage embryos
were prepared after 24 h of ICSI and lentivirus was injected into the perivitelline space in 0.25 M sucrose/
mTALP-HEPES. For injection to oocytes, metaphase II stage oocytes were selected and lentivirus was injected
into the perivitelline space in 0.25 M sucrose/ mTALP-HEPES. After 4 h of virus injection, ICSI was performed.
Embryo transfer and pregnancy detection. When embryos developed to expanded blastocysts, one
or two embryos were transferred into each female recipient. Embryo transfer was performed as previously
described59, with some modifications. Laparoscopy was carried out on alternate days from days 10?14 of the
menstrual cycle after menstruation (ovulation day = day 0) until ovulation occurred. Recipients were selected for
embryo transfer 1?6 day after ovulation. Neither the stage of the embryos nor the number of days after the
recipient?s ovulation were matched. Embryos were aspirated into a catheter (ETC3040SM5-17; Kitazato Medical Service
Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan) under a stereomicroscope. The catheter was inserted into the oviduct of the recipient via
the fimbria under the laparoscope, and the cultured embryo was transplanted with a small amount of medium.
Pregnancy was determined by ultrasonography 30 days after ICSI.
RT- quantitative PCR. Total RNA was extracted from cells or tissues using RNeasy Mini kits (Qiagen,
Hilden, Germany). For reverse transcription, ReverTra Ace (Toyobo Co., Ltd, Osaka, Japan) and oligo (dT) 20
primer were used. For real-time PCR, THUNDERBIRD SYBR qPCR Mix (Toyobo) was used. Transcript levels
were determined in triplicate reactions and normalized against the corresponding levels of GAPDH. Primer
sequences are shown in Supplementary Table 1.
Immunohistochemical analysis. Tissues were fixed by 4% PFA at 4 ?C overnight, embedded in OCT
compound, frozen in liquid nitrogen, sliced into 10-?m sections and placed onto glass slides that were treated
with Blocking One for 30 min at room temperature. Primary antibodies and dilutions used were rabbit anti-GFP
AlexaFluor 488 conjugate (1:400, Life Technologies A21311), mouse anti-Oct4 (1:400, Santa Cruz sc-5279),
mouse anti-NeuN (1:500, Millipore MAB377), rabbit anti-GFAP (1:500, Biomedical Technologies Inc. BT-575),
rabbit anti-CD45 (1:100, Dako M0701), rabbit anti-DDX4 (VASA) (1:400, Abcam ab13840), which were then
detected with appropriate secondary AlexaFluor 488, 568 or 647 antibodies. Cells were counterstained with
Hoechst 33342 and observed using a Leica TCS SP8 confocal microscope.
FACS analysis. Tail fibroblasts were established from day 92 foetuses (#1 and #2) and day 3 offspring (PreI
Tg #2). After removal of tail skin, the remaining tails were washed in PBS and maintained in Dulbecco?s
modified eagle medium (DMEM, Invitrogen) containing 10% foetal bovine serum (FBS, JRH Biosciences, Corston
Bath, UK), penicillin, streptomycin (Invitrogen), and primocin (Invivogen). Ear fibroblasts were established from
PreI Tg #2 by cutting ears into 5 mm3 fragments, washing in PBS and then cultured in DMEM containing 10%
FBS, penicillin, streptomycin, and primocin. The fibroblasts were cultured until confluent and then collected by
trypsin treatment. Cells were resuspended in a final volume of 500 ?l of PBS/2% FCS and analysed with a Becton
Dickinson FACSAria cell sorter.
Observation of green fluorescence in transgenic offspring. Images were captured under 470 nm
excitation light with 520-nm wavelength filters using a Nikon D3300 digital camera. No image intensifying
procedures were applied to any of the images. A 1-day-old and 3-month-old cynomolgus monkeys were used as a
negative control for PreI Tg #1 and #2 respectively.
Western blot analysis. One mm2 of tissues were incubated in RIPA buffer (50mM Tris-HCl, 150 mM NaCl,
0.5% sodium deoxycholate, 1% NP40 and 0.1% SDS) with protease and phosphatase inhibitors for 10 min at
4 ?C. After centrifugation (15,000 ? g for 5 min), protein samples were obtained from supernatant. Samples were
diluted in sample buffer (Wako, Osaka, Japan) at a final concentration (10?g/?l) and stored at ?20 ?C just before
assessment. After denaturing by boiling at 95 ?C for 5 min, 2.5 ?l of sample was separated by SDS-PAGE on 10%
polyacrylamide gel at 250 V for 80 min and then transferred onto a polyvinylidene fluoride membrane (Merck
Millipore, Darmstadt, Germany). The membrane was blocked using Blocking One, and then incubated with
rabbit anti-GFP AlexaFluor 488 conjugate (1:2,000) or rabbit anti-?-actin horseradish peroxidase (HRP)
conjugate (1:4,000) antibody overnight at 4 ?C in Blocking One. After three washes in Tween20-PBS (T-PBS), the
membrane incubated with rabbit anti-GFP was treated with HRP-labeled anti-rabbit immunoglobulin G (1:2,000;
Invitrogen) in Blocking One for 1 h at room temperature. After one wash of 15 min and five washes of 5 min each
with T-PBS, peroxidase activity was visualized using the Chemi-Lumi One Super (Nacalai Tesque) according
to the manufacturer?s instructions. Tissues from a GFP mouse (C57BL/6-Tg(CAG-EGFP)10sb/J)42 that carries
one copy of the CAG promoter-GFP expression unit were provided by Drs. H. Kojima and M. Katagi (Shiga
University of Medical Science) and used as a positive control.
Statistical analysis. Statistical analyses of all data comparisons were carried out using the t-test using Excel
software. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
We would like to thank Research Center for Animal Life Science research support team for animal care, Shiga
University of Medical Science. This work was supported in part by a grant from PRESTO, Japan Science and
Technology Agency (JST) (to M. E.), JSPS KAKENHI Grant number 15K21080 (to T. T.), in-house grant from
Shiga University of Medical Science (to M. E., Y. S., T. T.) and a Grant-in-Aid for JSPS Fellows (to T. A.) and a
grant from the Network Program for Realization of Regenerative Medicine from the Japan Agency for Medical
Research and Development (AMED) (to K. O., T. I., M. E.).
Y.S. performed the biochemical and cell biological experiments, and co-wrote the paper. Y.S., T.T., M.S., E.S. and
M.E. designed the experiments. Y.S., H.M., E.S. and T.T. designed GFP expression vectors and prepared lentivirus
particle. Y.S. and T.T. established fibroblasts from tails and ears. C.I., H.T., J.M., J.O., S.N., E.S. and Y.S. assisted in
embryological technique development. T.A. and Y.S. contributed to immunohistochemistry and Y.I., T.I., M.N.,
I.T. and K.O. analysed the data. Y.H. and S.H. developed high-resolution immunohistochemistry of brain. T.T.
edited the paper. M.E. conducted the project and contributed to development of the hypothesis. M.E. supervised
the whole project and co-wrote the paper.
Supplementary information accompanies this paper at http://www.nature.com/srep
Competing financial interests: The authors declare no competing financial interests.
How to cite this article: Seita, Y. et al. Generation of transgenic cynomolgus monkeys that express green
fluorescent protein throughout the whole body. Sci. Rep. 6, 24868; doi: 10.1038/srep24868 (2016).
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