US scientists have repaired damaged uterus tissue in rabbits, resulting in successful pregnancies and live births.
Published in Nature Biotechnology, the study from Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, North Carolina, transplanted the rabbit’s own cells into the uterus (see image) to stimulate repair, in a technique known as autologous transplantation.
The researchers will now conduct further pre-clinical studies using this technique, with the aim of reducing the need for uterus donors and the risk of organ rejection.
Just 70 uterine transplants have taken place worldwide, with transplant patients needing the continued use of anti-rejection drugs.
“With further development, this approach may provide a pathway to pregnancy for women with an abnormal uterus,” said lead scientist Anthony Atala.