Within REBIRTH a completely new interdisciplinary service unit (xPa) has come into being, which combines veterinary expertise from the Institute for Laboratory Animals with histopathologic skills from organ experts in human pathology. In order to enable optimal patho-anatomical interpretation of animal models for human disease and regeneration xPa provides a platform for information (modes of fixation and tissue banking), technical support (tissue sections and stain, immunhistochemistry, laser microdissection, RNA analysis), training (microscopical analysis) and histopathological diagnoses on laboratory animals.
The philosophy behind xPa is to involve pathology specialists who have profound experience and skills in particular human organs, e.g. lung or kidney, in the analysis of the corresponding organ in animals also, in order to guarantee optimal interpretation. Therefore, a number of doctors from the department of pathology are recruited for service within xPa and cooperating scientist can expect to be counselled by a histopathologist, who has special experience in the particular organ under study. On the other hand pathologists get in contact with tissue alterations associated with novel and experimental therapies and thus acquire the necessary knowledge for interpreting human tissue specimens derived from patients treated by experimental therapy modalities. Consequently, xPa establishes a dual bridging between experimental regenerative medicine and histopathological diagnostics in patient care.