Author(s): Hara H, Cooper DK
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Abstract Although corneal transplantation (Tx) is readily available in the United States and certain other regions of the developed world, the need for human donor corneas worldwide far exceeds supply. There is currently renewed interest in the possibility of using corneas from other species, especially pigs, for Tx into humans (xeno-Tx). The biomechanical properties of human and pig corneas are similar. Studies in animal models of corneal xeno-Tx have documented both humoral and cellular immune responses that play roles in xenograft rejection. The results obtained from the Tx of corneas from wild-type (ie, genetically unmodified) pigs into nonhuman primates have been surprisingly good and encouraging. Recent progress in the genetic manipulation of pigs has led to the prospect that the remaining immunological barriers will be overcome. There is every reason for optimism that corneal xeno-Tx will become a clinical reality within the next few years.
This article was published in Cornea
and referenced in Journal of Transplantation Technologies & Research