New Developments in Transgenic Livestock as Models of Human Disease: The Pig Model
Jose L. Estrada and Robert M. Petters
The generation of transgenic livestock has been possible using technologies such as pronuclear microinjection and somatic cell nuclear transfer. In this paper, we will focus on important developments in the production and use of transgenic and knockout pigs. One of the main objectives in the production of trans-genic livestock is to develop models for the study of human diseases and for xenotransplantation. Genetically modified pigs have been used to study human diseases like retinitis pigmentosa and to test some possible treatments to control diseases. Pigs carrying genes for human regulatory complement and knock-out pigs for a-1-3 galactosyltransferase have shown a significant reduction in human immunological rejection of pig organs. Patients waiting for human organ transplantation have a short term alternative using xenoperfusion with transgenic pig organs. The use of transgenic pigs as a model to study human disease will be stimulated by the findings with retinitis pigmentosa and xenotransplantation.