Physiologic aspects of pig kidney transplantation in nonhuman primates

Academic Article


  • © 2018 American Association Lab. Anim. Sci.. All rights reserved. Xenotransplantation can provide a solution to the current shortage of human organs for patients with terminal renal failure. The increasing availability of genetically engineered pigs, effective immunosuppressive therapy, and antiinflammatory therapy help to protect pig tissues from the primate immune response and can correct molecular incompatibilities. Life-supporting pig kidney xenografts have survived in NHP for more than 6 mo in the absence of markers of consumptive coagulopathy. However, few reports have focused on the physiologic aspects of life-supporting pig kidney xenografts. We have reviewed the literature regarding pig kidney xenotransplantation in NHP. The available data indicate (1) normal serum creatinine, (2) normal serum electrolytes, except for a trend toward increased calcium levels and a transient rise in phosphate followed by a fall to slightly subnormal values, (3) minimal or modest proteinuria without hypoalbuminemia (suggesting that previous reports of proteinuria likely were due to a low-grade immune response rather than physiologic incompatibilities), (4) possible discrepancies between pig erythropoietin and the primate erythropoietin receptor, and (5) significant early increase in kidney graft size, which might result from persistent effects of pig growth hormone. Further study is required regarding identification and investigation of physiologic incompatibilities. However, current evidence suggests that, in the absence of an immune response, a transplanted pig kidney likely would satisfactorily support a human patient.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Iwase H; Klein EC; Cooper DKC
  • Start Page

  • 332
  • End Page

  • 340
  • Volume

  • 68
  • Issue

  • 5