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 (MSC) to stimulate healing and reduce inflammation in chronic kidney disease. More recent studies are now investigating the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) and their potential for inducing regeneration of organs such as the liver and kidney and spinal cord.
- Stem cell therapy for chronic kidney disease in cats.
Studies are being done to determine whether infusions MSC 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 MSC 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: Dr. Jessica Quimby, Dr. Steven Dow, and Dr. Tracy Webb
- Stem cell therapy for immune modulation of asthma.
Studies are underway to investigate whether intravenous injection of MSC 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. Katsuiki 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 mesenchymal stem cells to suppress inflammation and stimulate liver healing in dogs with naturally-occurring chronic hepatitis. Patients are currently being enrolled in 2 different clinical trials, under the direction of Drs. David Twedt and Allison Bradley.
Program faculty: Dr. David Twedt, Dr. Allison Bradley, and Dr. Steven Dow
- Stem cell therapy for suppression of chronic wound infection in dogs.
Recent studies in the CIRM have uncovered unique biological properties of activated MSC, which produce factors that potently suppress bacterial infections. Studies in rodent models have shown that MSC 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: Dr. Valerie Johnson and Dr. Steven Dow
Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Bone Healing
Researchers in the Animal Cancer Center are using mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) 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.
- Effects of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) on incorporation of massive cortical allografts following limb salvage surgery.
Studies are being conducted to determine how MSC 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 (EORC) are investigating the use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) to stimulate cartilage and ligament healing and to enhance tissue healing following sports-related injuries in horses.
- Stem cell transfection with IL-1Ra to stimulate healing of cartilage and tendon injuries.
Investigators in the EORC are studying the effects of joint injection with MSC 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: Dr. Laurie Goodrich, Dr. David Frisbe, Dr. Wayne MacIlwraith
- Effects of in vitro differentiation on MSC resistance to compressive forces as a model for cartilage healing.
The use of MSC offers the potential to one day regenerate new cartilage to repair chronic joint injuries in horses and humans. To help develop new MSC-based therapies, researchers in the EORC are using in vitro assays with MSC and growth factors and substrates to assess the impact of these factors on differentiation of MSC into functional chondrocytes.
Program faculty: Dr. David Kisiday, Dr. Wayne MacIlwraith
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 MSC to improve valve properties.
- 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 MSC into valve connective tissues to improve their strength and reduce immune rejection.
Program faculty: Dr. Chris Orton