The severe organ shortage has forced the transplant community to seek avenues for expansion of the donor population. Xenotransplantation utilizing pig organs may offer the optimal choice for addressing this shortage if long-term graft survival can be obtained. Increased immunological barriers exist in xenotransplantation, especially when compared to allotransplantation, where an individual receives transplantation from another individual. These barriers have led to investigations into achieving xenogeneic immunological tolerance as a means of allowing for long-term graft acceptance.
The Vagefi Laboratory in the Center for Transplantation Sciences (CTS) at Massachusetts General Hospital focuses on the ability to precondition a liver xenograft by:
Reconstitution is performed by injecting bone marrow from the recipient into the donor swine prior to transplantation. By creating a pre-transplant chimeric xenograft, the transplanted organ may be better conditioned to be accepted by the recipient swine’s body.
Utilizing a clinically relevant large animal model of pig-to-baboon liver xenotransplantation, the Vagefi Laboratory is investigating:
Undergraduates, medical students and post-doctoral fellows interested in joining the Vagefi Laboratory should contact Parsia A. Vagefi, MD.