The recently discovered clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-associated protein 9 (Cas9) systems that occur in nature as microbial adaptive immune systems are considered an important tool in assessing the function of genes of interest in various biological systems. Thus, development of efficient and simple methods to produce genome-edited (GE) animals would accelerate research in this field. The CRISPR/Cas9 system was initially employed in early embryos, utilizing classical gene delivery methods such as microinjection or electroporation, which required ex vivo handling of zygotes before transfer to recipients. Recently, novel in vivo methods such as genome editing via oviductal nucleic acid delivery (GONAD), improved GONAD (i
-GONAD), or transplacental gene delivery for acquiring genome-edited fetuses (TPGD-GEF), which facilitate easy embryo manipulation, have been established. Studies utilizing these techniques employed pregnant female mice for direct introduction of the genome-editing components into the oviduct or were dependent on delivery via tail-vein injection. In mice, embryogenesis occurs within the oviducts and the uterus, which often hampers the genetic manipulation of embryos, especially those at early postimplantation stages (days 6 to 8), owing to a thick surrounding layer of tissue called decidua. In this review, we have surveyed the recent achievements in the production of GE mice and have outlined the advantages and disadvantages of the process. We have also referred to the past achievements in gene delivery to early postimplantation stage embryos and germ cells such as primordial germ cells and spermatogonial stem cells, which will benefit relevant research.
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