Of pigs and proteins

HIRESPIGGLANDbA newborn pig’s submandibular gland—seen in this confocal image—contains cells that secrete fluid and the mucin proteins that make up mucus. By studying the pig model, investigators in the University of Iowa Lung Biology and Cystic Fibrosis Research Center can better understand airway diseases where mucus is abnormal, including cystic fibrosis, asthma, and COPD. UI and University of Missouri researchers developed a pig model of cystic fibrosis because it more closely mimics the human disease than do other animal models. The image comes from the lab of Michael Welsh (’74 MD, ’77 R), the Roy J. Carver Chair of Internal Medicine and Physiology and Biophysics.