In animals produced by assisted reproductive technologies, two abnormal phenotypes have been characterized. Large offspring syndrome (LOS) occurs in offspring derived from in vitro cultured embryos, and the abnormal clone phenotype includes placental and fetal changes. LOS is readily apparent in ruminants, where a large calf or lamb derived from in vitro embryo production or cloning may weigh up to twice the expected body weight. The incidence of LOS varies widely between species. When similar embryo culture conditions are applied to nonruminant species, LOS either is not as dramatic or may even be unapparent. Coculture with serum and somatic cells was identified in the 1990s as a risk factor for abnormal development of ruminant pregnancies. Animals cloned from somatic cells may display a combination of fetal and placental abnormalities that are manifested at different stages of pregnancy and postnatally. In highly interventional technologies, such as nuclear transfer (cloning), the incidence of abnormal offspring continues to be a limiting factor to broader application of the technique. This review details the breadth of phenotypes found in nonviable pregnancies, together with the phenotypes of animals that survive the transition to extrauterine life. The focus is on animals produced using in vitro embryo culture and nuclear transfer in comparison to naturally occurring phenotypes.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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