Derivation and comparison of C57BL/6 embryonic stem cells to a widely used 129 embryonic stem cell line

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Typically, embryonic stem (ES) cells derived from 129 mouse substrains are used to generate genetically altered mouse models. Resulting chimeric mice were then usually converted to a C57BL/6 background, which takes at least a year, even in the case of speed congenics. In recent years, embryonic stem cells have been derived from various mouse strains. However, 129 ES cells are still widely used partially due to poor germline transmission of ES cells derived from other strains. Availability of highly germline-competent C57BL/6 ES cells would enormously facilitate generation of genetically altered mice in a pure C57BL/6 genetic background by eliminating backcrossing time, and thus significantly reducing associated costs and efforts. Here, we describe establishment of a C57BL/6 ES cell line (LK1) and compare its efficacy to a widely used 129SvJ ES cell line (GSI-1) in generating germline chimeras. In contrast to earlier studies, our data shows that highly germline-competent C57BL/6 ES cell lines can be derived using a simple approach, and thus support broader use of C57BL/6 ES cell lines for genetically engineered mouse models.

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