Adult stem cells have significant promise to fulfill medical needs of feline companions. An earlier Winn-funded study developed a way to isolate enough stem cells from adipose tissue (fat) removed during routine castration for standard treatments. This study will expand upon this success by further improving the technique to isolate those cells that are best for transplantation into cats that are not related to the donor. The ultimate goal is to isolate stem cells from tissues removed during elective castration with the best tissue formation in cats with limited healing capacity due to injury or disease.
Cells will initially be selected based on the presence of stem cell proteins on their surfaces. They will then be subdivided into three groups depending on whether or not they express proteins that allow the immune system to distinguish self from foreign cells. The growth rate and ability to turn into different tissues will be compared among the groups before and after cryopreservation. It is predicted that stem cells that do not express the “self” complexes will have better tissue generation and faster growth rates than those that do.
This study will provide vital information about a “universal” stem cell pool with the best tissue formation and least likelihood for rejection when used to treat feline patients. The results will significantly enhance knowledge surrounding adult stem cell therapies in feline companions. (Continuation Study)