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Anatomy and bronchoscopy of the porcine lung. A model for translational respiratory medicine.The porcine model has contributed significantly to biomedical research over many decades. The similar size and anatomy of pig and human organs make this model particularly beneficial for translational research in areas such as medical device development, therapeutics and xenotransplantation. In recent years, a major limitation with the porcine model was overcome with the successful generation of gene-targeted pigs and the publication of the pig genome. As a result, the role of this model is likely to become even more important. For the respiratory medicine field, the similarities between pig and human lungs give the porcine model particular potential for advancing translational medicine. An increasing number of lung conditions are being studied and modeled in the pig. Genetically modified porcine models of cystic fibrosis have been generated that, unlike mouse models, develop lung disease similar to human cystic fibrosis. However, the scientific literature relating specifically to porcine lung anatomy and airway histology is limited and is largely restricted to veterinary literature and textbooks. Furthermore, methods for in vivo lung procedures in the pig are rarely described. The aims of this review are to collate the disparate literature on porcine lung anatomy, histology, and microbiology; to provide a comparison with the human lung; and to describe appropriate bronchoscopy procedures for the pig lungs to aid clinical researchers working in the area of translational respiratory medicine using the porcine model.
The role of matricellular proteins in glaucoma.Glaucoma is an optic neuropathy affecting approximately 60million people worldwide and is the second most common cause of irreversible blindness. Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) is the main risk factor for developing glaucoma and is caused by impaired aqueous humor drainage through the trabecular meshwork (TM) and Schlemm's canal (SC). In primary open angle glaucoma (POAG), this elevation in IOP in turn leads to deformation at the optic nerve head (ONH) specifically at the lamina cribrosa (LC) region where there is also a deposition of extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules such as collagen and fibronectin. Matricellular proteins are non-structural secreted glycoproteins that help cells communicate with their surrounding ECM. This family of proteins includes connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), also known as CCN2, thrombospondins (TSPs), secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC), periostin, osteonectin, and Tenascin-C and -X and other ECM proteins. All members appear to play a role in fibrosis and increased ECM deposition. Most are widely expressed in tissues particularly in the TM and ONH and deficiency of TSP1 and SPARC have been shown to lower IOP in mouse models of glaucoma through enhanced outflow facility. The role of these proteins in glaucoma is emerging as some have an association with the pathophysiology of the TM and LC regions and might therefore be potential targets for therapeutic intervention in glaucoma.