Successful pregnancy in goats carrying their genetically identical conceptus

S. M. Oppenheim, A. L. Moyer, Robert Bondurant, Joan D Rowe, G. B. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Mammalian pregnancies are naturally allogeneic, but syngeneic pregnancies have been carried to term in laboratory animal species. The need for maternal immune recognition during mammalian pregnancy is still unclear. Allogeneic pregnancies are protected from maternal immune attack by the nature of the trophoblast and its interactions with maternal tissues at the maternal-fetal interface. Syngeneic pregnancy models and the success of pregnancies in immunosuppressed mice challenge the necessity of a maternal immune response in mammals. This study was designed to investigate if outbred, domestic sheep and goats can successfully establish and maintain a syngeneic pregnancy. Embryo splitting and cryopreservation techniques were used to enable sheep and goat demi-embryos to be transferred to genetically identical females. Allogeneic pregnancies were established from the transfer of demi-embryos subjected to the same manipulations to assess demi-embryo survival and pregnancy rates under conventional immune compatibility conditions. Syngeneic pregnancies were established and carried to term in goats (2/11) but not in sheep (0/24). Microsatellite and DNA fingerprinting analyses confirmed that each kid was a genetically identical twin to the female that carried it to term. Our results demonstrated that genetic disparity is not required for the establishment and maintenance of pregnancy in goats, but our results were inconclusive for sheep. (C) 2000 by Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)629-639
Number of pages11
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 1 2000


  • Embryo manipulation
  • Goats
  • Maternal recognition
  • Pregnancy
  • Sheep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


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