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Selected Publication:

Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Mini-Review

Year: 2017

Authors: Burgstaller, JP; Brem, G

Title: Aging of Cloned Animals: A Mini-Review.

Source: Gerontology. 2017; 63(5):417-425

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Brem Gottfried
Burgstaller Jörg

Vetmed Research Units
Institute of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Unit of Reproductive Biology

The number of species for which somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) protocols are established is still increasing. Due to the high number of cloned farm, companion, and sport animals, the topic of animal cloning never ceases to be of public interest. Numerous studies cover the health status of SCNT-derived animals, but very few cover the effects of SCNT on aging. However, only cloned animals that reach the full extent of the species-specific lifespan, doing so with only the normal age-related afflictions and diseases, would prove that SCNT can produce completely healthy offspring. Here, we review the available literature and own data to answer the question whether the aging process of cloned animals is qualitatively different from normal animals. We focus on 4 main factors that were proposed to influence aging in these animals: epigenetic (dys)regulation, accumulation of damaged macromolecules, shortened telomeres, and (nuclear donor-derived) age-related DNA damage. We find that at least some cloned animals can reach the species-specific maximum age with a performance that matches that of normal animals. However, for most species, only anecdotal evidence of cloned animals reaching high age is available. We therefore encourage reports on the aging of cloned animals to make further analysis on the performance of SCNT possible.

Keywords Pubmed: Aging/physiology*
Cloning, Organism*
DNA Damage/physiology
Epigenesis, Genetic/physiology
Telomere Shortening/physiology

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