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World J Gastroenterol. 2011 Aug 28;17(32):3684-90. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i32.3684.

Future of liver transplantation: non-human primates for patient-specific organs from induced pluripotent stem cells.

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Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, D-1, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi 110070, India.


Strategies to fill the huge gap in supply versus demand of human organs include bioartificial organs, growing humanized organs in animals, cell therapy, and implantable bioengineered constructs. Reproducing the complex relations between different cell types, generation of adequate vasculature, and immunological complications are road blocks in generation of bioengineered organs, while immunological complications limit the use of humanized organs produced in animals. Recent developments in induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) biology offer a possibility of generating human, patient-specific organs in non-human primates (NHP) using patient-derived iPSC and NHP-derived iPSC lacking the critical developmental genes for the organ of interest complementing a NHP tetraploid embryo. The organ derived in this way will have the same human leukocyte antigen (HLA) profile as the patient. This approach can be curative in genetic disorders as this offers the possibility of gene manipulation and correction of the patient's genome at the iPSC stage before tetraploid complementation. The process of generation of patient-specific organs such as the liver in this way has the great advantage of making use of the natural signaling cascades in the natural milieu probably resulting in organs of great quality for transplantation. However, the inexorable scientific developments in this direction involve several social issues and hence we need to educate and prepare society in advance to accept the revolutionary consequences, good, bad and ugly.


Anencephaly; Chimpanzee; Fumaryl acetoacetate hydrolase deficient; Hepatocytes; Hhex; Induced pluripotent stem cells; Non-human primates; Tetraploid

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