Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New pig model may lead to progress in treating debilitating eye disease

09.03.2012
A newly developed, genetically modified pig may hold the keys to the development of improved treatments and possibly even a cure for retinitis pigmentosa (RP), the most common inherited retinal disease in the United States.

The pig model was developed by researchers in the University of Louisville Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences and at the National Swine Resource and Research Center at the University of Missouri.

"We have previously relied mostly on rodent models to study the development and progression of this disease, and although very important insights have been obtained, rodent eyes are much smaller than human eyes and they lack some important retinal structures, so the development of a large animal model of RP is an important step forward in the research of this blinding disease," said Henry J. Kaplan, MD, Evans Professor and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences at the University of Louisville, and senior investigator on this study. "This new tool, developed in the miniature swine, should allow important progress in the development of novel treatments for this disease."

The researchers used miniature pigs, which weigh about 150 pounds at maturity, because they are much more manageable than the larger, domestic pig.

The results of the study were published in the January 2012 issue of the journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (http://www.iovs.org/content/53/1/501.full?rss=1). The research was funded by The National Institutes of Health and the National Eye Institute, Research to Prevent Blindness, Discovery Eye Foundation, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the Edward N. and Della L. Thorne Memorial Foundation, the Kentucky Research Challenge Trust Fund, the Kentucky Science and Engineering Foundation, the Moran Eye Center Tiger Team Translational Medicine Award and the University of Louisville Clinical and Translational Science Grant Program.

"Pigs have become an important tool in helping researchers understand many human diseases," said Randall S. Prather, PhD, distinguished professor of reproductive biotechnology in the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, and investigator on the study. "Additionally, the miniature swine are much easier to handle than their larger kin and don't present researchers with as many challenges. It's important that we look for these new avenues for research as we continue our search for cures to some of the world's most prevalent diseases."

Researchers used an abnormal gene, RHO P23H, the most common cause of autosomal dominant RP, in which affected individuals have a 50/50 chance of passing the disease on to their children. They inserted the mutant gene into the nucleus of miniature pig embryos, which were then transferred into surrogate mothers for gestation. The offspring expressed the mutant gene that causes RP and their eyes showed classic features of the eye disease. This animal model will now be used to screen the efficacy of various novel therapies for this disease, including stem cell transplantation, drug therapy, gene therapy and the retinal prosthesis.

"We now have a model of RP that mimics human disease in a large animal," Kaplan said. "These pigs will be on the front line of the development of new therapies for this devastating disease."

Retinitis pigmentosa affects about 1 in 4000 Americans and can cause retinal degeneration, which leads to night blindness, loss of peripheral vision, and ultimately total vision loss.

Other investigators involved in this study include Maureen A. McCall, Juan P. Fernandez de Castro, Wei Wang, Jennifer M. Noel and Paul J. DeMarco of the University of Louisville; Patricia Bray-Ward and Cecilia Rios of the University of Nevada; Jason W. Ross of Iowa State University; Bryan W. Jones and Robert E. Marc of the University of Utah; and Jianguo Zhao, Melissa Samuel, Liang Zhou and Eric Walters of the University of Missouri.

Lauren Williams | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.louisville.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Once invincible superbug squashed by 'superteam' of antibiotics
22.08.2017 | University at Buffalo

nachricht Chronic stress induces fatal organ dysfunctions via a new neural circuit
21.08.2017 | Hokkaido University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stretchable biofuel cells extract energy from sweat to power wearable devices

22.08.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

New technique to treating mitral valve diseases: First patient data

22.08.2017 | Medical Engineering

IVAM Marketing Prize recognizes convincing technology marketing for the tenth time

22.08.2017 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>