ORGANOGENESIS AND ORGAN REGENERATION AND REPAIR AFTER TRANSPLANTATION: Edited by Marc R. HammermanClassic and current opinion in embryonic organ transplantationHammerman, Marc R.Author Information Departments of Medicine, and Cell Biology and Physiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, USA Correspondence to Marc R. Hammerman, MD, Renal Division, Box 8126, Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, 660 S. Euclid Ave. St. Louis, MO 63110, USA. Tel: +1 314 362 8233; fax: +1 314 362 8237; e-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Organ Transplantation: April 2014 - Volume 19 - Issue 2 - p 133-139 doi: 10.1097/MOT.0000000000000054 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review Here, we review the rationale for the use of organs from embryonic donors, antecedent investigations and recent work from our own laboratory, exploring the utility for transplantation of embryonic kidney and pancreas as an organ replacement therapy. Recent findings Ultrastructurally precise kidneys differentiate in situ in rats following xenotransplantation in mesentery of embryonic pig renal primordia. The developing organ attracts its blood supply from the host. Engraftment of pig renal primordia requires host immune suppression. However, beta cells originating from embryonic pig pancreas obtained very early following initiation of organogenesis [embryonic day 28 (E28)] engraft long term in nonimmune-suppressed diabetic rats or rhesus macaques. Engraftment of morphologically similar cells originating from adult porcine islets of Langerhans occurs in animals previously transplanted with E28 pig pancreatic primordia. Summary Organ primordia engraft, attract a host vasculature and differentiate following transplantation to ectopic sites. Attempts have been made to exploit these characteristics to achieve clinically relevant endpoints for end-stage renal disease and diabetes mellitus using animal models. We and others have focused on use of the embryonic pig as a donor. Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.