Mesenchymal stem cells

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Live mesenchymal stem cells, known for their star-like shape, are isolated from the amniotic fluid. These valuable fetal cells can not create all tissues in the body, as can embryonic stem cells, but they are able to create many tissues needed for surgery, without the ethical controversy associated with embryonic stem cells.

Development of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) is a new technology for treatment of various degenerative diseases in cats. Stem cells are multipotent cells that can differentiate into a variety of cell types and have been generated from feline cardiac cells[1], neural cells[2] and renal cells.

MSCs have been trialled recently as an alternative treatment for chronic renal disease in cats[3].

Intrarenal injection of mesenchymal cells did not induce immediate or long-term adverse effects and two cats with renal disease that received stem cells experienced modest improvement in glomerular filtration rate and a mild decrease in serum creatinine concentration.

Despite the possible benefits of intrarenal MSC injections for CKD cats, the number of sedations and interventions required to implement this approach would likely preclude widespread clinical application.

References

  1. Angert D et al (2011) Repair of the injured adult heart involves new myocytes potentially derived from resident cardiac stem cells. Circ Res 108(10):1226-1237
  2. Cho SJ et al (2010) Confirmation of germ-line transmission in the red fluorescence protein (RFP) transgenic cloned male cat. Cell Reprogram 12(6):739-747
  3. Quimby JM et al (2011) Evaluation of intrarenal mesenchymal stem cell injection for treatment of chronic kidney disease in cats: a pilot study. J Feline Med Surg 13(6):418-426