The road to generating transplantable organs: From blastocyst complementation to interspecies chimeras

Canbin Zheng, Emily B. Ballard, Jun Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Growing human organs in animals sounds like something from the realm of science fiction, but it may one day become a reality through a technique known as interspecies blastocyst complementation. This technique, which was originally developed to study gene function in development, involves injecting donor pluripotent stem cells into an organogenesis-disabled host embryo, allowing the donor cells to compensate for missing organs or tissues. Although interspecies blastocyst complementation has been achieved between closely related species, such as mice and rats, the situation becomes much more difficult for species that are far apart on the evolutionary tree. This is presumably because of layers of xenogeneic barriers that are a result of divergent evolution. In this Review, we discuss the current status of blastocyst complementation approaches and, in light of recent progress, elaborate on the keys to success for interspecies blastocyst complementation and organ generation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberdev195792
JournalDevelopment (Cambridge)
Volume148
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Keywords

  • Blastocyst complementation
  • Chimera competency
  • Interspecies chimera
  • Interspecies organogenesis
  • Pluripotent stem cell
  • Xenogeneic barriers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology

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