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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Mar 19;110(12):4557-62. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1222902110. Epub 2013 Feb 19.

Blastocyst complementation generates exogenic pancreas in vivo in apancreatic cloned pigs.

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Japan Science and Technology Agency, Exploratory Research for Advanced Technology, Nakauchi Stem Cell and Organ Regeneration Project, Chiyoda-ku 102-0075, Japan.


In the field of regenerative medicine, one of the ultimate goals is to generate functioning organs from pluripotent cells, such as ES cells or induced pluripotent stem cells (PSCs). We have recently generated functional pancreas and kidney from PSCs in pancreatogenesis- or nephrogenesis-disabled mice, providing proof of principle for organogenesis from PSCs in an embryo unable to form a specific organ. Key when applying the principles of in vivo generation to human organs is compensation for an empty developmental niche in large nonrodent mammals. Here, we show that the blastocyst complementation system can be applied in the pig using somatic cell cloning technology. Transgenic approaches permitted generation of porcine somatic cell cloned embryos with an apancreatic phenotype. Complementation of these embryos with allogenic blastomeres then created functioning pancreata in the vacant niches. These results clearly indicate that a missing organ can be generated from exogenous cells when functionally normal pluripotent cells chimerize a cloned dysorganogenetic embryo. The feasibility of blastocyst complementation using cloned porcine embryos allows experimentation toward the in vivo generation of functional organs from xenogenic PSCs in large animals.

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