MWM Biomodels GmbH is a spin-off company of the LMU Munich and Minitube, specialized in the development and characterization of transgenic large animal models for biomedical research.
Current projects are focused on genetically modified pigs for xenotransplantation as well as transgenic pig models of diabetes mellitus, muscular dystrophy and immunodeficiency.
MWM Biomodels offers support starting from the design of a project, the development of expression and targeting vectors, the generation of genetically modified large animals, their phenotypic characterization and the performance of preclinical studies.
 
ESR12: Establishment and characterization of a pig model for gestational diabetes
Over the last decade the prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) has markedly increased from 1.5% in 2002 up to 3.7% in 2010 (all pregnancies in Germany). GDM, defined as carbohydrate intolerance of varied severity which develops around the 24th week of pregnancy in humans without previous history of diabetes mellitus, may affect fetal development as well as trigger intrauterine programming of diseases in the offspring’s later life like obesity, impaired glucose tolerance and type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Experimental GDM models are essential for understanding the consequences of GDM for the mother, the fetus and the newborn. Moreover, they represent a unique opportunity to study the transition to the diabetic state and therefore, to generate disease prevention strategies. As available GDM models to date have strong limitations the aim of this project is to establish and characterize a pig model for GDM using the pre-diabetic GIPRdn transgenic pigs in combination with a western diet fed throughout pregnancy.
The pig is an excellent animal model as pigs share many similarities with humans in anatomy, physiology and metabolism, e.g. anatomy and function of the gastrointestinal tract and the pancreas. Transgenic pigs expressing a dominant negative glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide receptor (GIPRdn) in the pancreatic islets develop reduced glucose tolerance and insulin secretion as well as reduced beta cell mass over time, however do not get hyperglycemic per se.
Within the project the effect of western diet feeding and the pre-diabetic phenotype of GIPRdn transgenic pigs in late pregnancy on maternal as well as fetal growth, macronutrient metabolism, hormone levels and the endocrine pancreas will be evaluated.
 
Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Eckhard Wolf

Eckhard Wolf studied Veterinary Medicine at the LMU Munich, Germany (1982-87). Since 1995 he is Head of the Institute for Molecular Animal Breeding and Biotechnology, and since 2003 Director of the Laboratory for Functional Genome Analysis (LAFUGA), Gene Center, LMU Munich. His lab is specialized in the generation and characterization of genetically engineered pigs for xenotransplantation and for diabetes research. Specifically he is interested in developmental consequences of maternal diabetes mellitus. 
 

Simone Renner studied Veterinary Medicine at the LMU Munich, Germany (1997-2003). She finished her PhD in 2008 and is a postdoc at the Institute for Molecular Animal Breeding and Biotechnology since then. Her general research interest is the generation and characterization of genetically modified pig models for diabetes research. Specifically she is interested in the role of incretin hormones in diabetes and diabetes therapy as well as maternal diabetes and its developmental consequences.
 

Fellow Sofia Martins, ESR 12. Ana Sofia Martins study biomedical sciences in Histocellular Pathology at the Lisbon School of Health Technology, Portugal (2004-2008). She graduated as a MSc. in Molecular Medicine by the University Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam (2010-2012). Currently, she is a PhD student at the institute of Molecular Animal Breeding and Biotechnology. Her project is to develop a porcine model for maternal diabetes mellitus. Her general research interests are: understand maternal diabetes pathogenesis and how this disease affects embryo development and neonatal outcome. 
 
Fellow Pauline Peugnet, ER4.