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Dr. Allison Bradley

 Dr. Allison Bradley is investigating the use of stem-cell therapy to treat chronic liver disease in dogs, a novel approach they hope could lead to successful treatments for dogs and people.

Stem Cell Therapy

Stem Cells for Immune Modulation and Antimicrobial Activity

Faculty in the Department of Clinical Sciences and the Laboratory for Regenerative Medicine, use stem cells to suppress abnormal immune responses in inflammatory diseases such as asthma and inflammatory bowel disease. They are also investigating the ability of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to stimulate healing and reduce inflammation in chronic kidney disease.  More recent studies are now investigating the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and their potential for inducing regeneration of organs such as the liver, kidney and spinal cord. 

Current Studies

  • Stem cell therapy for chronic kidney disease in cats
    Studies are being done to determine whether infusions of MSCs can improve kidney function in cats with naturally-occurring chronic kidney disease (CKD) and to understand the mechanisms by which these cells may protect the kidneys. These studies are using MSCs to treat pet cats with naturally-occurring CKD, which is the number one cause of death in older cats, as a model to also investigate the effectiveness of MSC therapy for end stage renal disease in humans.  Current studies are investigating how the route of stem cell delivery may affect kidney function, and whether activation of the stem cells may improve their efficacy.
    Program faculty: Drs. Jessica Quimby, Steven Dow, and Tracy Webb

  • Stem cell therapy for immune modulation of asthma
    Studies are underway to investigate whether intravenous injections of MSCs can be used as a novel method of suppressing airway inflammation in asthma, using in vitro studies and mouse models in collaboration with researchers at National Jewish. Studies are also being conducted in a feline model of asthma at the University of Missouri under the direction of Dr. Carol Reinero.
    Program faculty: Dr. Steven Dow and collaborators Dr. Carol Reinero (U Miss.) and Dr. Katsuyki Takeda (National Jewish Health)

  • Stem cells for chronic hepatitis in dogs
    Several studies are currently underway in dogs with chronic hepatitis to investigate the ability of MSCs to suppress inflammation and stimulate liver healing in dogs with naturally-occurring chronic hepatitis.  Patients are currently being enrolled in two different clinical trials, under the direction of Drs. David Twedt and Allison Bradley.
    Program faculty: Drs. David Twedt, Allison Bradley, and Steven Dow

  • Stem cell therapy for suppression of chronic wound infection in dogs
    Recent studies in the Center for Immune and Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) have uncovered unique biological properties of activated MSCs, which produce factors that potently suppress bacterial infections.  Studies in rodent models have shown that MSCs treatment, combined with conventional antibiotic therapy, can significantly control chronic wound infections.  A clinical trial in dogs with chronic wound infections with drug-resistant bacteria is being conducted to explore this treatment effect.
    Program faculty: Drs. Valerie Johnson and Steven Dow

Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Bone Healing

Researchers in the Flint Animal Cancer Center are using mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to enhance bone healing following surgery or radiation therapy for bone cancer, with the ultimate goal of improving treatment outcomes in children and dogs with bone cancer. 

Current Studies

  • Effects of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) on incorporation of massive cortical allografts following limb salvage surgery
    Studies are being conducted to determine how MSCs derived from adipose tissues or bone marrow can be used to stimulate the incorporation of bone grafts into large fracture gaps after bone resection for bone cancer, using mouse models and dogs with cancer.
    Program faculty: Dr. Nicole Ehrhart

​Stem Cells for Joint and Ligament Healing


Faculty in the Equine Orthopedic Research Center (ORC) are investigating the use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to stimulate cartilage and ligament healing and to enhance tissue healing following sports-related injuries in horses. 

Current Studies

  • Stem cell transfection with IL-1Ra to stimulate healing of cartilage and tendon injuries
    Investigators in the ORC are studying the effects of joint injection with MSCs transfected to over-express the equine IL-1Ra gene in order to suppress joint inflammation and stimulate cartilage healing, using experimental and clinical equine models.
    Program faculty: Drs. Wayne McIlwraith, Laurie Goodrich, and David Frisbie

  • Effects of in vitro differentiation on MSCs resistance to compressive forces as a model for cartilage healing
    The use of MSCs offers the potential to one day regenerate new cartilage to repair chronic joint injuries in horses and humans. To help develop new MSCs-based therapies, researchers in the ORC are using in vitro assays with MSCs and growth factors and substrates to assess the impact of these factors on differentiation of MSCs into functional chondrocytes.
    Program faculty: Drs. Wayne McIlwraith and David Frisbie 

Stem Cells for Improved Cardiac Valves


Investigators in the Cardiovascular Research Laboratory at the Animal Heart Center at CSU are studying new approaches to improve the durability and to reduce the immunogenicity of replacement heart valves.  One of these approaches includes the use of autologous MSCs to improve valve properties. 

Current Studies

  • New approaches to preparation of porcine cardiac valves to improve immune and mechanical properties
    These studies are investigating novel methods of preparing cardiac valves to suppress long-term immune rejection of allograft valves, along with improved incorporation of MSCs into valve connective tissues to improve their strength and reduce immune rejection.
    Program faculty: Dr. Chris Orton

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