Transgenic pigs as models for translational biomedical research.
ABSTRACT 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.
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ABSTRACT: The pig was first used in biomedical research in ancient Greece and over the past few decades has quickly grown into an important biomedical research tool. Pigs have genetic and physiological traits similar to humans, which make them one of the most useful and versatile animal models. Owing to these similarities, data generated from porcine models are more likely to lead to viable human treatments than those from murine work. In addition, the similarity in size and physiology to humans allows pigs to be used for many experimental approaches not feasible in mice. Research areas that employ pigs range from neonatal development to translational models for cancer therapy. Increasing numbers of porcine models are being developed since the release of the swine genome sequence, and the development of additional porcine genomic and epigenetic resources will further their use in biomedical research.02/2015; 3(1):219-44. DOI:10.1146/annurev-animal-022114-110815
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ABSTRACT: The glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP1R) agonist liraglutide improves glycemic control and reduces body weight of adult type 2 diabetic patients. However, efficacy and safety of liraglutide in adolescents has not been systematically investigated. Furthermore, possible pro-proliferative effects of GLP1R agonists on the endocrine and exocrine pancreas need to be further evaluated. We studied effects of liraglutide in adolescent pigs expressing a dominant-negative glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide receptor (GIPR(dn)) in the beta-cells, leading to a pre-diabetic condition including disturbed glucose tolerance, reduced insulin secretion and progressive reduction of functional beta-cell mass. Two-month-old GIPR(dn) transgenic pigs were treated daily with liraglutide (0.6-1.2 mg per day) or placebo for 90 days. Glucose homeostasis was evaluated prior to and at the end of the treatment period by performing mixed meal and intravenous glucose tolerance tests (MMGTT and IVGTT). Finally animals were subjected to necropsy and quantitative-stereological analyses were performed for evaluation of alpha- and beta-cell mass, beta-cell proliferation as well as acinus-cell proliferation. MMGTT at the end of the study revealed 23% smaller area under the curve (AUC) for glucose, a 36% smaller AUC insulin, and improved insulin sensitivity, while IVGTT showed a 15% smaller AUC glucose but unchanged AUC insulin in liraglutide- vs. placebo-treated animals. Liraglutide led to marked reductions in body weight gain (-31%) and food intake (-30%) compared to placebo treatment, associated with reduced phosphorylation of insulin receptor beta (INSRB)/insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor beta (IGF1RB) and protein kinase B (AKT) in skeletal muscle. Absolute alpha- and beta-cell mass was reduced in liraglutide-treated animals, but alpha- and beta-cell mass-to-body weight ratios were unchanged. Liraglutide neither stimulated beta-cell proliferation in the endocrine pancreas nor acinus-cell proliferation in the exocrine pancreas, excluding both beneficial and detrimental effects on the pig pancreas. Although plasma liraglutide levels of adolescent transgenic pigs treated in our study were higher compared to human trials, pro-proliferative effects on the endocrine or exocrine pancreas or other liraglutide-related side-effects were not observed.Journal of Translational Medicine 12/2015; 13(1):431. DOI:10.1186/s12967-015-0431-2 · 3.99 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: PKD1 and PKD2 mutations could lead to autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), which afflicts millions of people worldwide. Due to the marked differences in the lifespan, size, anatomy, and physiology from humans, rodent ADPKD models cannot fully mimic the disease. To obtain a large animal model that recapitulates the disease, we constructed a mini-pig model by mono-allelic knockout (KO) of PKD1 using zinc finger nuclease. The mono-allelic KO pigs had lower PKD1 expression than their wild-type littermates at both the transcriptional and translational levels. After approximately six months, renal cysts appeared and grew progressively in the KO pigs. Histological analysis showed that renal cysts were scatteredly distributed in the mutant pig kidneys and were lined by either cuboidal or flattened epithelial cells. Contrast-enhanced computed tomography confirmed that all of the mutant pigs had renal and hepatic cysts, when they were 11-month-old. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that most of the cysts were derived from the proximal tubules and collecting ducts. Therefore, the PKD1 mono-allelic knockout is sufficient to trigger renal cystogenesis, and this pig model may provide a platform for future study of renal cyst formation.International journal of biological sciences 02/2015; 11(4):361-369. DOI:10.7150/ijbs.10858 · 4.37 Impact Factor