Immunology questions & terminology

J Wootton jwootton at home.com
Sat Nov 25 16:47:19 EST 2000


Jane,
If you are into learning, the very first thing you need to learn is
where/how to get information.
I ran a simple search with http://www.alltheweb.com/ using keywords "pig
heart valve"
and found this (first "hit")
http://www.heartlab.rri.on.ca/dissection/dissection.html
The pig heart is interesting to us because it is very similar to the human
heart in anatomy, size and function. Its excellent
availability in most areas of the world, along with the similarities to the
human heart, make porcine heart tissue ideal for
transplant into humans. Of course, untreated porcine tissue would be
rejected very quickly by the recipient's body, in the same
way that a human's donated organ would be rejected. To prevent this, porcine
heart valves are treated with glutaraldehyde to
reduce their immunogenicity.
(there's more but I'll let you do the reading).

Find a good search engine and be sure you know where/if you are getting good
info.
The url above is one of the best in Canada.
http://www.heartlab.rri.on.ca/heartlab.html
(also make sure that it's the most current info on the subject you are
researching..FYI)
Hope this helps
Best
J

Anostica wrote:

> I  am taking a microbiology course this fall semester, and in it I have
> been assigned a project to do. I chose to do mine on immunology.  I have
> gotten the majority of it done, but I'm having some trouble with
> immunology terms. The following are some of my questions.  I would
> appreciate a reply from anyone, on any of the questions.
>
>
> Lastly...I was asked about why pig heart valves can be transplanted into
> humans. The only answer I could come up with is because we may not or do
> not have any white blood cells there that can scavenge around the area
> and check for antigens. I thought that since that area is constantly
> being flushed by blood, it may cause that area to be somewhat out of
> reach by the immune system.
>
> that's it..thank you for your time..
>
> -Jane






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