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Anatomy and Bronchoscopy of the Porcine Lung: A Model for Translational Respiratory Medicine

Significance Statement

In the field of lung biology, small animal models, particularly mice, have provided substantial insight into normal and disease processes in the lungs. However, translation of this knowledge into progress in respiratory medicine has been frustratingly slow and the gulf between mouse and patient remains significant. The domesticated pig has made a significant contribution to the improvement of many areas of human health over the past number of decades. In recent years, a major limitation with the porcine model was overcome with the successful generation of gene targeted pigs and the publication of the pig genome. As a result, the porcine model is likely to become an important bridge between traditional small laboratory animal models and human medicine. An increasing number of lung conditions are being studied and modelled in the pig and the porcine model of lung disease took a major step forward following the generation of the porcine cystic fibrosis model. However, the scientific literature relating specifically to porcine lung anatomy and airway histology is limited and methods for in vivo lung procedures in the pig are rarely described. In this review we present a collation of the disparate literature on porcine lung anatomy, histology and microbiology and in particular, provide a comparison with the human lung. We propose a new nomenclature for the porcine airways, based on similar systems used for other animals. We also describe appropriate bronchoscopy procedures for the pig lungs, including anaesthesiology, with the ultimate aim of aiding clinical researchers aiming to use the porcine model in the area of translation respiratory medicine.

Image legend: The Porcine Lung: A Model for Translational Respiratory Medicine.

Anatomy and Bronchoscopy of the Porcine Lung A Model for Translational Respiratory Medicine- Global Medical Discovery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eoin P. Judge1, J. M. Lynne Hughes2, Jim J. Egan1, Michael Maguire3, Emer L. Molloy3, and Shirley O’Dea3

Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2014 Sep;51(3):334-43.
1Irish National Lung and Heart Transplant Program, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland;

2University College Dublin School of Veterinary Medicine, Dublin, Ireland;

3Biology Department, National University of Ireland Maynooth, County Kildare, Ireland.

ABSTRACT

The porcine model has contributed significantly to biomedical research over many decades. The similar size andanatomy of pig and human organs make this model particularly beneficial for translational research in areas such as medical device development, therapeutics and xenotransplantation. In recent years, a major limitation with the porcine model was overcome with the successful generation of gene-targeted pigs and the publication of the pig genome. As a result, the role of this model is likely to become even more important. For the respiratory medicine field, the similarities between pig and human lungs give the porcine model particular potential for advancing translational medicine. An increasing number of lung conditions are being studied and modeled in the pig. Genetically modified porcine models of cystic fibrosis have been generated that, unlike mouse models, develop lung disease similar to human cystic fibrosis. However, the scientific literature relating specifically to porcine lung anatomy and airway histology is limited and is largely restricted to veterinary literature and textbooks. Furthermore, methods for in vivo lung procedures in the pig are rarely described. The aims of this review are to collate the disparate literature on porcine lung anatomy, histology, and microbiology; to provide a comparison with the human lung; and to describe appropriate bronchoscopy procedures for the pig lungs to aid clinical researchers working in the area of translational respiratory medicine using the porcine model.

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