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MT17-007: Mesenchymal stem cell therapy for cats with inflammatory bowel disease

The most common cause of chronic diarrhea in cats is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Owners of these cats are often asked to give multiple medications to their pets on a daily basis, usually for the life of their pet, with the potential for significant side-effects. Even then, control of the diarrhea may not be adequate, impacting the quality of life of both the pet and the owner. A form of stem cell therapy known as adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) may be ideally suited to solve a number of these problems as a treatment option for chronic inflammatory diseases. Previous research in the investigators’ clinic has shown that feline MSC (fMSC) can be easily generated in large quantities from a small amount of adult adipose (fat) tissue, and then safely administered to cats with chronic diarrhea. No adverse side effects were seen, and in fact, following treatment, the majority of the cats were reported to have a significant improvement of their clinical signs, even a resolution in some cases. Similar results have now been reported in dogs with IBD. Few of the cats in this preliminary study, however, had histopathologic confirmation of the cause of their clinical symptoms, leaving many important questions about stem cell therapy unanswered. In the current study they propose to evaluate the use of adipose-derived fMSC as a treatment for feline IBD, in the hopes of finding a safe and effective treatment alternative to steroids in cats with this common gastrointestinal disease.

Grant ID: MT17-007

Status: Active

Year Funded: 2017

Amount awarded: $34,863

Investigator: Craig Webb, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, Tracy Webb, DVM, PhD; Colorado State University