Genetically engineered pigs as models for human disease

Carolin Perleberg, Alexander Kind, Angelika Schnieke

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

143 Scopus citations


Genetically modified animals are vital for gaining a proper understanding of disease mechanisms. Mice have long been the mainstay of basic research into a wide variety of diseases but are not always the most suitable means of translating basic knowledge into clinical application. The shortcomings of rodent preclinical studies are widely recognised, and regulatory agencies around the world now require preclinical trial data from nonrodent species. Pigs are well suited to biomedical research, sharing many similarities with humans, including body size, anatomical features, physiology and pathophysiology, and they already play an important role in translational studies. This role is set to increase as advanced genetic techniques simplify the generation of pigs with precisely tailored modifications designed to replicate lesions responsible for human disease. This article provides an overview of the most promising and clinically relevant genetically modified porcine models of human disease for translational biomedical research, including cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes mellitus, Alzheimer’s disease, cystic fibrosis and Duchenne muscular dystrophy. We briefly summarise the technologies involved and consider the future impact of recent technical advances.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberdmm030783
JournalDMM Disease Models and Mechanisms
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018


  • Disease models
  • Genetic modification
  • Pig
  • Swine


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