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[IP] Technique offers transplant hope
- To: <Undisclosed-Recipient:@mail6.mx.voyager.net;>
- Subject: [IP] Technique offers transplant hope
- From: "jhughey" <email @ redacted>
- Date: Tue, 22 Oct 2002 09:22:42 -0500
- Reply-To: email @ redacted
Monday, 21 October, 2002, 21:23 GMT 22:23 UK
*Technique offers transplant hope*
Pigs are the closest creatures genetically to humans
Changes in sperm engineering have allowed scientists to dramatically
reduce the chances of transplanted pig organs being rejected by human
A new technique suggests the success rate could be improved from 4% to
88%, according to the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of
Until now researchers have relied on injecting a human gene into
fertilised pig eggs to create animals whose organs can be harvested for
use by humans.
The possibility of generating transgenic pigs efficiently and
reproducibly will... be an advantage for creating multitransgene pig
But too often the animals fail to pick up the human gene and the organs
have only been successful in 4% of cases.
But a team led by Marialuisa Lavitrano, at the University of
Milano-Bicocca in Italy, have found that by modifying the DNA in pig
sperm, rather than in the eggs, they can dramatically reduce the chances
of organs being rejected.
Of 93 piglets produced from the treated sperm, 57% had the human gene in
When two unsuccessful fertilisations were excluded from the total of
eight carried out, the success rate rose as high as 88%.
Furthermore the gene, called hDAF, was functional in multiple organs,
including the heart, lung and kidney.
Laboratory tests showed that pig cells with the human protein produced
by the gene were resistant to attack by the human immune system.
Ms Lavitrano's team had previously demonstrated the technique,
sperm-mediated gene transfer (SMGT), on mice.
They wrote: "The pig is the most likely donor animal for
xenotransplantation of organs, but may well require multiple transgenes
to be a satisfactory donor for humans.
"Given the high efficiency of transgenesis, SMGT could greatly
facilitate the production of such pigs."
The scientists made use of sperm's ability naturally to pick up DNA from
Fresh pig sperm was incubated in a medium that contained the human DNA.
The sperm naturally incorporated the human gene, which was then passed
on to offspring after fertilisation.
The researchers added: "The possibility of generating transgenic pigs
efficiently and reproducibly will, hopefully, not only be an advantage
for creating multitransgene pig donor animals, but also enable
strategies to fulfil many of the promises originally expected from the
introduction of transgenic livestock."
02 Jan 02 | Science/Nature
New pig clones born <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/1738730.stm>
29 Dec 01 | Health
Goats may provide malaria vaccine
09 Jun 02 | Science/Nature
UK 'needs GM research animals'
University of Milano-Bicocca <http://www.unimib.it/>
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
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