885: Center of Canine Cytotherapeutics

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $100,956
Dr. P. Richard Vulliet, DVM PhD, University of California, Davis
January 1, 2007 - December 31, 2008
Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Treatment

Project Summary

Stem cell therapy, for both canines and humans, is in its infancy. We estimate that large quantities of stem cells will be necessary for treating many of the breed specific diseases that are associated with pure bred dogs. In this project, we developed techniques for isolating large quantities of the adult bone marrow stem cell. We then selected degenerative myelopathy, an insidious progressive disease that selectively affects German Shepherd Dogs, Rhodesian Ridgebacks and Pembroke Welch Corgis, to test if these cells were therapeutic. Because this therapeutic approach is so new, there are "no right answers" and each step has to be tested. We first injected the cells intravenously through a catheter placed in the forearm and the affected dogs seemed to tolerate this very well. However, in our early dogs with degenerative myelopathy, for some reason that is still not clear, we only were able to produce very small number of cells when compared with control dogs or cats. It may be that low levels of these therapeutic cells may be also involved in the onset of DM. However, when we tested Pembroke Welch Corgis, we were able to generate a relatively large number of cells. Thus, in the final stages of this grant, we were able to inject sufficient cells for evaluation of the therapeutic outcome.

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