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The minipig as a platform for new technologies in toxicology

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Roy Forster
  • Philippe Ancian
  • Merete Fredholm
  • Henner Simianer
  • Bruce Whitelaw
  • RETHINK Project

Related Edinburgh Organisations

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-235
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods
Volume62
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Abstract

The potential of the minipig as a platform for future developments in genomics, high density biology, transgenic technology, in vitro toxicology and related emerging technologies was reviewed. Commercial interests in the pig as an agricultural production species have driven scientific progress in these areas. There is no equivalent economic driver for progress in the dog or the monkey. As a result the available knowledge-bases are much greater for pigs (than for dogs or monkeys) in many areas (physiology, disease, genetics, immunology etc). Fundamental genomic knowledge and phenotypic characterization in regard to the pig is well in advance of the dog or the monkey and basic knowledge of the pig is therefore likely to stay ahead of the other two species. While the emerging technologies are essentially "species neutral" and can in principle be applied to all species, for all the technologies that we examined, basic knowledge and technical capabilities are greater for the pig than the dog or monkey. In concrete terms, in application to safety testing we have seen that: (i) The Gottingen minipig is well positioned for the performance of toxicogenomics studies, (ii) The close sequence homology between pigs and humans suggest that minipigs will be useful for the testing of biotechnology products (and possibly for in silico toxicology) and (iii) the minipig is the only non-rodent toxicology model where transgenic animals can be readily generated, and reproductive technologies are well developed in the pig. These properties should also make the minipig an interesting model for the testing of biotechnology products. These factors all support the idea that the minipig is well placed to meet the challenges of the emerging technologies and the toxicology of the future: it also seems likely that the minipig can be an advantageous model for the testing of biotechnology products. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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