Pig kidneys transplanted into humans were not only not rejected, but also began to function normally for the first time
Scientists from the University of Alabama succeeded in replacing two human kidneys with genetically modified pig organs. With the family's permission, pig kidneys were transplanted to a patient diagnosed with brain death.
For the first time in the history of medicine, donor organs were not only not rejected, but also began to function normally, that is, to produce urine, cleaning the body of toxic metabolic products.
A detailed description of this unique operation has been evaluated by the scientific community and published this week in the scientific journal JAMA Surgery.
Although this case is unique so far, it gives hope to tens of thousands of patients suffering from chronic kidney disease and in need of a transplant.
Worldwide, the demand for donor organs far exceeds the supply. According to statistics, two out of every five patients waiting for a transplant in the US die within five years of being diagnosed, unable to receive a suitable donor organ.
In fact, this is not the first human pig kidney transplant that can be called successful. During the last few years, similar attempts have already been made twice, and the kidney was not rejected by the body. However, only this time, the doctors managed to ensure that the donor organ also functions completely normally, performing all its functions, the main of which is cleaning the body of harmful vital substances, first of all, creatinine.
Pig kidneys to be transplanted were specially grown and "humanized" by the method of genetic adaptation, so that the patient's organism does not reject the donor organ as foreign after the operation. For this, scientists find and "disable" four exclusively pig genes (GTKO, CMAH, B4GALNT2, GHR) in the DNA chain, after which they complement it with six human genes (CD46, CD55, CD47, THBD, PROCR, HMOX1).