05 December 2007

Chimeric Mice Help in Drug Development

Chimeric mice developed with human liver cells growing inside mouse livers will prove to be valuable toxicity screens for pharmacologic development, improve understanding of infectious disease, and promote regenerative medicine.
The work, which will be published in this week's online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science also holds promise for a better understanding of infectious diseases that affect the liver. "It is basically impossible to grow human hepatocytes in the lab, which was a big hurdle for the study of viruses such as hepatitis A and hepatitis B," says senior author Inder Verma, Ph.D., a professor in the Laboratory of Genetics.

But most importantly, Bissig says, the mice will be an invaluable tool to advance regenerative medicine. "Many inherited disorders affecting liver metabolism could be cured if only five percent of all hepatocytes would express the missing enzyme," he says.
Salk Institute

Hat tip Medgadget

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