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J Inherit Metab Dis. 2012 Jul;35(4):695-713. doi: 10.1007/s10545-012-9475-0. Epub 2012 Mar 28.

Genetically modified pigs for biomedical research.

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Department of Biomedicine, Aarhus University, Aarhus C, Denmark.


During the last two decades, pigs have been used to develop some of the most important large animal models for biomedical research. Advances in pig genome research, genetic modification (GM) of primary pig cells and pig cloning by nuclear transfer, have facilitated the generation of GM pigs for xenotransplantation and various human diseases. This review summarizes the key technologies used for generating GM pigs, including pronuclear microinjection, sperm-mediated gene transfer, somatic cell nuclear transfer by traditional cloning, and somatic cell nuclear transfer by handmade cloning. Broadly used genetic engineering tools for porcine cells are also discussed. We also summarize the GM pig models that have been generated for xenotransplantation and human disease processes, including neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases, eye diseases, bone diseases, cancers and epidermal skin diseases, diabetes mellitus, cystic fibrosis, and inherited metabolic diseases. Thus, this review provides an overview of the progress in GM pig research over the last two decades and perspectives for future development.

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