In this study, we present first data concerning the anatomical structure, blood supply and location of the lacrimal gland of the pig. Our data indicate that the porcine lacrimal gland may serve as a potential xenograft candidate in humans or as an animal model for engineering of a bioartificial lacrimal gland tissue construct for clinical application. For this purpose, we used different macroscopic preparation techniques and digital reconstruction of the histological gland morphology to gain new insights and important information concerning the feasibility of a lacrimal gland transplantation from pig to humans in general. Our results show that the lacrimal gland of the pig reveals a lot of morphological similarities to the analogous human lacrimal gland and thus might be regarded as a xenograft in the future. This is true for a similar anatomical location within the orbit as well as for the feeding artery supply to the organ. Functional differences concerning the composition of the tear fluid, due to a different secretory unit distribution within the gland tissue will, however, be a challenge in future investigations. © 2013 Henker et al.
Henker, R., Scholz, M., Gaffling, S., Asano, N., Hampel, U., Garreis, F., … Paulsen, F. (2013). Morphological Features of the Porcine Lacrimal Gland and Its Compatibility for Human Lacrimal Gland Xenografting. PLoS ONE, 8(9). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0074046