Chinese scientists have achieved another milestone in pig organ transplants for humans

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Kidney transplants are the only cure for end-stage kidney disease.
However, xenogenic transplants – the transplant of an organ or tissues from one species into another – could offer a solution.
Pig organ transplants in China and the US open an ethical can of worms Pigs are used for these operations because they have similar metabolisms and organ size to humans.
“Research on xenogenic organ transplantation has entered an accelerated period,” said Dou Kefeng, one of the transplant team leads, according to the post.
Such transplants can provide “a highly imaginative solution” to transplant organ shortages, even just by buying time for patients waiting for human organs, Dou said.
Last month, a team from the Massachusetts General Hospital in the United States made history with the first transplant of a gene-edited pig kidney into a non-brain-dead patient with end-stage kidney disease.
However, this type of rejection is common in human kidney transplants and the report said the patient was successfully treated with steroids and a drug to deplete the white blood cells.
Chinese team grows humanised kidneys in pigs, raising hopes and ethical concerns Before their attempts with humans, the transplant team also transplanted pig organs into monkeys in 2020, the university said.

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It is doing its job in the recipient’s body and causing regular urination. “.

March 25 was the date of the transplant, which came just a few weeks after the team’s successful pig liver transplant. According to the university, the families of the patients consented to the procedure in both instances in order to further medical science.

End-stage kidney disease has no treatment options other than kidney transplants. In a WeChat post last week, the urology department of the Air Force Medical University stated that, despite the fact that over a million patients in China have the condition, only 10,000 transplants are carried out annually.

Nevertheless, xenogenic transplants, which involve implanting an organ or tissues from one species into another, might provide an answer.

An ethical can of worms is opened by pig organ transplants in China and the US.

Because of their similar metabolisms and organ sizes to humans, pigs are used in these procedures. Although monkeys and humans are the most similar species, the US Food and Drug Administration has prohibited the use of monkey organs due to the increased risk of disease transmission.

Before testing the technology on other patients, medical teams in China and the US have tested pig organ transplants on brain-dead patients who require a ventilator to survive, with their families’ permission.

One of the transplant team leads, Dou Kefeng, stated that “research on xenogenic organ transplantation has entered an accelerated period,” quoted in the article.

Simply by buying patients waiting for human organs some time, such transplants can offer “a highly imaginative solution” to the shortage of transplantable organs, according to Dou.

The external iliac artery of the patient, which supplies blood to the legs, was joined to the renal artery of the pig during the kidney transplant.

The patient’s own kidneys were removed once blood flow returned and the kidney started to produce urine, according to the university.

According to the university, the researchers employed CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technology to add two human genes and eliminate three pig genes that could result in hyperacute rejection from the transplanted pig. This helped to lower the risk of rejection.

With the first kidney transplant of a gene-edited pig into a non-brain-dead patient with end-stage kidney disease last month, a team from Massachusetts General Hospital in the United States created history.

Eight days after the transplant, the 62-year-old recipient experienced an acute rejection episode as a result of white blood cells invading the organ, as reported by US medical website STAT news.

Nevertheless, the patient was reportedly successfully treated with steroids and a medication to reduce the number of white blood cells in their body. This kind of rejection is typical in human kidney transplants.

According to the university, Chinese medical professionals had been keeping an eye out for indications of infection or rejection in their kidney recipient.

The team faced a greater challenge than their previous accomplishment when they operated on a pig liver last month, which also worked normally for ten days before being removed. This is because human livers are more complex than kidneys in both structure and function, meaning a pig’s liver cannot fully replace a human liver.

An ethical dilemma and hopeful outlook are raised when a Chinese team grows humanized kidneys in pigs.

According to the university, in 2020 the transplant team also successfully transplanted pig organs into monkeys prior to attempting the same procedure on humans.

As per Qin, the efforts of the transplant team might open the door for future transplants that could benefit the millions of people awaiting life-saving procedures.

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