Human blood vessels started growing in pigs

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — A team of researchers from the University of Minnesota has tested a new approach to growing human blood vessels. It will allow you to get an unlimited number of vessels for transplantation, while the risk of rejection will be minimized.

Scientists have long known that human physiology has much in common with pig physiology, so the latter often act as models for the development and testing of various drugs and treatment strategies.

In a new effort, the team tried to grow human blood vessels in the pig’s body.

Specialists obtained mature patient skin cells and reprogrammed them into induced pluripotent stem cells ( iPSCs ) giving rise to endothelial cells. The latter, recall, line the inner surface of the vessels.

The obtained iPSCs were introduced into the pig embryo, and it was planted on the surrogate mother.

In the first phase of the test, the embryo develops within 27 days. No inappropriate effects were detected; all endothelial cells were of human origin.

The team believes that it has proven its concept, and is now awaiting approval for further research on the embryo in the later stages of pregnancy.

As planned by scientists, their methodology will allow for the production of viable piglets with blood vessels that will exactly match the vessels of each particular patient awaiting transplantation.

Thus, after surgery, a person will not need to take immunosuppressants – drugs for artificial suppression of immunity.

The authors hope that their approach will help patients with many chronic and incurable diseases requiring organ transplants, as well as patients with damage to peripheral arteries, for example, due to smoking or diabetes (in many cases, this ailment leads to amputation of the limbs).

A scientific article on the results of this work is presented in the journal Nature Biotechnology.


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