Successful transplantation of kidneys from genetically modified pigs into brain-dead patients in the United States.

This is the first time that no immune rejection has occurred in a xenogeneic organ transplant, in which an animal organ is transplanted into a patient.



On the 21st local time, foreign media including the BBC reported that a research team at the NYU Langone Health Medical Center in the United States succeeded in an experiment in which pig kidneys were 'semi-transplanted' into humans and operated normally.

Rejection-causing substances were removed through genetic modification of pigs.




New York University's Langon Health Medical Center's Robert Mongoberry Transplant Research Institute Director gave a pig kidney to a patient who had brain-dead death due to renal failure in September.

Although it was a quasi-transplantation in which a pig kidney was attached to a blood vessel in the thigh rather than where the patient's kidney was, the transplanted pig kidney nevertheless performed the normal renal function of filtering waste and producing urine without immune rejection.



The research team connected the pig kidney attached to the patient's leg to the patient's blood vessels and checked whether immune rejection and normal function were functioning for 3 days.




The pig used in this experiment is 'GalSafe', which has been genetically engineered to prevent sugar components from being produced in pig cells that cause immune rejection when transplanted into humans.

Galsafe was also certified as suitable for food and medical use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December of last year.



Although a pig kidney was not transplanted into the body, Dr. Montgomery said, "The fact that the kidney functioned outside the body is sufficient evidence that the kidney will function normally inside the body."




The 54-hour experiment is hoped that the US medical community will breathe new life into the long-term imbalance between supply and demand.

This is because genetically modified pigs have paved the way for sustainable and renewable organ donors.



However, there are also evaluations that it is too early to discuss the commercialization of animal organ transplantation.

"This research represents a huge breakthrough in transplantation, but more research is needed into the longevity of transplanted organs," said Dory Segev, PhD, PhD, Johns Hopkins Medical School, chief medical officer, Coalition Network for Organ Sharing. Dr David Klassen also pointed out that "there is a concern that the virus in pigs may infect transplant patients."



This is a 'news pick'.



(Photo=New York University Langon Health Medical Center, 'Revivicor' website)         

Keywords: pigs, time, pig kidney, patients, transplantation, quasi-transplantation, pick, rejection, kidneys, patient, animal organ, organ transplant, pig cells, xenotransplantation, step