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MT21-010: Non-genetic enhancement of feline adipose mesenchymal stromal cell immunomodulation with adenosine-loaded nanoparticles

Approximately 0.7-12% of domestic cats nationwide suffer from gingivostomatitis (inflammation of gums and oral mucosa). This disease results in severe oral pain, causing a great deal of distress and frustration to cats and their owners. Extraction of the majority of teeth is the current treatment of choice, but it is ineffective in approximately 30% of cases. Cats that don’t respond to extractions are treated for the remainder of their lives with a combination of antibiotics and immune suppressants. These treatments are minimally effective and have multiple side effects.
A clinical study at UC Davis discovered that refractory gingivostomatitis could be cured with two consequent injections of fat-derived stem cells. Dozens of cats were cured, but some did not respond to treatment. Cats with the least response had the most severe disease and were treated with stem cells obtained from another healthy cat donor (allogeneic cells) instead of treatment with self-derived cells. The observations from the clinical trial combined with novel nanoengineering methods inspired this study.
We propose enhancing the effectiveness of allogeneic stem cells by ‘coating’ them with nanoparticles (NPs) carrying adenosine. Adenosine, just like stem cells, is a potent immuno-modulatory compound. Upon injection, MSCs are trapped in the lung, but a fraction ‘knows to travel’ to the site of inflammation. We expect to cure the most severe forms of gingivostomatitis by enhancing the fraction of stem cells that successfully reach the oral cavity with NPs carrying adenosine.

Grant ID: MT21-010

Status: Active

Year Funded: 2021

Amount awarded: $34,684

Investigator: Natalia Vapniarsky, Boaz Arzi, Gang-yu Liu; University of California, Davis