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How Pig Cells Could be Used to Slow Parkinson’s Disease

close-up of hands of man with Parkinson’s Disease

In recent years, researchers have paved the way to fight against Parkinson’s disease using a unique approach—pig islet cells. This novel tactic involves transplanting pig choroid plexus cells into the brains of Parkinson’s patients to prevent the unceasing progression of this neurodegenerative disease. Being the cornerstone of this groundbreaking project, scientists embed pig islet cells in porous alginate to protect them from the immune system and to ensure the release of important growth factors into brain tissue.

Let’s delve into the specific ways in which porcine cells contribute to combating Parkinson’s disease.

Cell Implantation to Slow Disease Progression

Health experts have turned to a novel strategy that includes direct implantation of pig islet cells into the brains of their patients. This novel approach is designed to interfere with the course of the disease by supplying necessary nutrients to the remaining dopamine-producing neurons.

Dopamine, a neurotransmitter, is an important element of motor control, and its deficiency is a prominent feature of Parkinson’s. Through transplanting porcine cells into the damaged brain regions, it is hoped that both the symptoms and the relentless disease progression can be stopped.

Immunological Protection by Alginate Encapsulation

To prolong the life and functioning of pig islet cell transplantation, researchers have developed a complex method involving the entrapment of porcine cells in porous alginate.

This encapsulation will, therefore, act as a protective shield against the immune system of the patient and prevent many unwanted immune responses that could compromise the implanted cells.

Concurrently, the porous nature of alginate allows for the controlled release of crucial growth factors into the brain. This dual functionality not only secures the implanted pig tissue but also helps to maintain the environment, favoring cellular regeneration and repair.

Biological Similarities Improving Response to Therapy

The selection of pig islet cells as a therapeutic agent for Parkinson’s disease experiments is based on the striking biological resemblance between pigs and humans. Pigs have physiological and anatomical similarities with humans which makes them compatible for cell transplantation in the human brain.

This biological similarity with the porcine brain improves the effectiveness of treatments because the pig islet cells blend smoothly with the human body, thus reducing the risk of rejection. This biological similarity offers the opportunity to use pig islet cells to address the demands of Parkinson’s patients, thus creating a promising avenue for more focused and successful treatments.

Application to other Neurological Diseases

The capacity of porcine nervous system tissue goes beyond Parkinson’s disease, with other studies examining their performance in treating other types of neurological disorders. Researchers are looking into their use in conditions like Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s, aiming at finding more extensive advantages these cells might bring.

The recovery evident in Parkinson’s patients suggests the possibility of the application of pig islet cells in other diseases. This multi-dimensional approach holds promise for a time when a unique, groundbreaking therapy would solve several neurological problems.


Pig islets are a mainstay in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, and Animal Biotech Industries, Inc. is dedicated to helping researchers continue their work through the supply of high-quality post-mortem porcine tissues, organ blocks, and secretions. For tissue, organ, blood, and gland harvesting and delivery, reach us today. Our team is prepared to leverage our twenty years of experience and expert consultation services to elevate your research.