W21-035: Creation of a Feline Living Bioarchive and Feline Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells for Use in Investigations into Feline Tooth Resorption & Other Feline Diseases

Cats commonly suffer from a dental disease called tooth resorption (TR). It is caused by odontoclasts; cells that are normally responsible for milk teeth shedding. In some cats, these cells inappropriate reactivate later in life and attack the permanent teeth. The disease is painful and extractions are often the only possible treatment.
We studied the genetic basis of TR and identified 12 genes that are highly activated in affected teeth. We developed a model system to test how each gene contributes to odontoclast reactivation and to test whether they could become therapeutic targets. However, odontoclasts are difficult to grow in the lab and studies require bone marrow donations for every screen. In order to reduce our reliance on tissue donations for such functional studies, we propose to create a bioarchive of cat cells that can be programmed to become most cell types in the body. These cells would be available to anyone wishing to work on cat diseases. They are produced by taking cells called fibroblasts from tissues removed during neutering, growing them, and freezing them in a biobank. These stock fibroblasts can then be taken from this bank and reprogrammed into stem cells which are used to produce specialized cells including odontoclasts. The aim of this study is to create a depository of feline fibroblast cells, create feline stem cells from them and convert them into odontoclasts and other cells to create improved model systems for drug testing, and to further feline regenerative medicine.

Grant ID: W21-035

Status: Active

Year Funded: 2021

Amount awarded: $29,988

Investigator: Dr Gurå Therese Bergkvist, Royal (Dick)School of Veterinary Studies & The Roslin Institute, The University of Edinburgh