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Towards xenotransplantation of pig islets in the clinic

Elliott, Robert Bon behalf of Living Cell Technologies

Current Opinion in Organ Transplantation: April 2011 - Volume 16 - Issue 2 - p 195–200
doi: 10.1097/MOT.0b013e3283449dec
Xenotransplantation: Edited by Jean-Paul Soulillou

Purpose of review Porcine islet xenotransplantation into humans faces two major hurdles – safety issues related to xenosis and xenorejection of the transplants. The former has been overcome mainly by selection of a suitable disease-free source herd.

Recent findings Four strategies have been employed to date to overcome the rejection, all of which have shown some efficacy in animal models.

Summary Immune suppression, Sertoli cell co-transplantation and microencapsulation have been tried in type 1 diabetic humans with some clinical benefit derived reported from the latter two. Unaware hypoglycemia in particular seems amenable to the microencapsulation approach.

Living Cell Technologies Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand

Correspondence to Professor Robert Elliott, Medical Director, Living Cell Technologies Ltd, PO Box 23 566, Hunters Corner, Manukau 2155, Auckland, New Zealand Tel: +64 9 276 2690 x712; fax: +64 9 276 2691; e-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.