The translation of novel discoveries from basic research to clinical application is a long, often inefficient, and thus costly process. Accordingly, the process of drug development requires optimization both for economic and for ethical reasons, in order to provide patients with appropriate treatments in a reasonable time frame. Consequently, "Translational Medicine" became a top priority in national and international roadmaps of human health research. Appropriate animal models for the evaluation of efficacy and safety of new drugs or therapeutic concepts are critical for the success of translational research. In this context rodent models are most widely used. At present, transgenic pigs are increasingly being established as large animal models for selected human diseases. The first pig whole genome sequence and many other genomic resources will be available in the near future. Importantly, efficient and precise techniques for the genetic modification of pigs have been established, facilitating the generation of tailored disease models. This article provides an overview of the current techniques for genetic modification of pigs and the transgenic pig models established for neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases, cystic fibrosis, and diabetes mellitus.
"International Society for Stem Cell Research has indicated in their guidelines for translational use that validation must occur in both small and large animal models ( Aigner et al . , 2010 ) . Tissue repair is another potential application of engineered pig models . Cartilage tissue grafts have been created using chondrocytes isolated from infant minipigs ( Deponti et al . , 2014 ) , and mandibular condyle grafts have been generated from Yucatan minipig adipose - derived mesenchymal stem cells ( Abukawa et al . , 2003 ) ."
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Since domestication, pigs have been used extensively in agriculture and kept as companion animals. More recently they have been used in biomedical research, given they share many physiological and anatomical similarities with humans. Recent technological advances in assisted reproduction, somatic cell cloning, stem cell culture, genome editing, and transgenesis now enable the creation of unique porcine models of human diseases. Here, we highlight the potential applications and advantages of using pigs, particularly minipigs, as indispensable large animal models in fundamental and clinical research, including the development of therapeutics for inherited and chronic disorders, and cancers.
Frontiers in Genetics 09/2015; 6. DOI:10.3389/fgene.2015.00293
"A recent sequencelevel comparison of human and porcine genes involved in immunity demonstrates their close similarity (Dawson et al. 2013). Transgenic pig models have been established for neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes mellitus (Aigner et al. 2010). Genetically modified porcine models of cystic fibrosis have been generated that develop lung disease similar to human cystic fibrosis (Rogers et al. 2008), an important deficiency of mouse models (Judge et al. 2014). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This issue of the ILAR Journal focuses on livestock models in translational medicine. Livestock models of selected human diseases present important advantages as compared with rodent models for translating fundamental breakthroughs in biology to useful preventatives and therapeutics for humans. Livestock reflect the complexity of applying medical advances in an outbred species. In many cases, the pathogenesis of infectious, metabolic, genetic, and neoplastic diseases in livestock species more closely resembles that in humans than does the pathogenesis of rodent models. Livestock models also provide the advantage of similar organ size and function and the ability to serially sample an animal throughout the study period. Research using livestock models for human disease often benefits not only human health but animal health and food production as well. This issue of the ILAR Journal presents information on translational research using livestock models in two broad areas: microbiology and infectious disease (transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, mycobacterial infections, influenza A virus infection, vaccine development and testing, the human microbiota) and metabolic, neoplastic, and genetic disorders (stem cell therapy, male germ line cell biology, pulmonary adenocarcinoma, muscular dystrophy, wound healing). In addition, there is a manuscript devoted to Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees’ responsibilities for reviewing research using livestock models. Conducting translational research using livestock models requires special facilities and researchers with expertise in livestock. There are many institutions in the world with experienced researchers and facilities designed for livestock research; primarily associated with colleges of agriculture and veterinary medicine or government laboratories.
ILAR journal / National Research Council, Institute of Laboratory Animal Resources 05/2015; 56(1):1-6. DOI:10.1093/ilar/ilv011 · 2.39 Impact Factor
"The anatomy and physiology of several organs, such as the eye, heart, liver and gastroenteric system, are overlapping, and these similarities overcome possible drawbacks, such as the drawback that pigs are more expensive to maintain than small rodents and reproduce more slowly. Transgenics and knock-out pigs are also available, and the advancements reached in somatic nuclear transfer procedures have provided several models for human diseases  . Moreover, several breeds of smaller size pigs, also called minipigs, were selected, making the use of minipigs more economical than that of larger breeds . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The need to provide in vivo complex environments to understand human diseases strongly relies on the utilisation of animal models, which traditionally include small rodents and rabbits. It is becoming increasingly evident that the few species utilised to date cannot be regarded as universal. There is a great need for new animal species that are naturally endowed with specific features that are relevant to human diseases. Farm animals, including pigs, cows, sheep and horses, represent a valid alternative to commonly utilised rodent models. There is an ample scope for the application of proteomic techniques in farm animals, and the establishment of several proteomic maps of plasma and tissue has clearly demonstrated that farm animals provide a disease environment that closely resembles that of human diseases. The present review offers a snapshot of how proteomic techniques have been applied to farm animals to improve their utilisation as biomedical models. Focus will be on specific topics of biomedical research in which farm animal models have been characterised through the application of proteomic techniques. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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