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Stem cells generated from canine blood

Programmed from a developing cell

Scientists have developed a novel method to induce stem-cell generation from the blood samples of dogs. Through this technique, the scientists hope to advance regenerative stem-cell therapies in veterinary and human medicine.

By transplanting stem cells and guiding their differentiation into desired cell types, researchers are effectively able to regenerate damaged tissues, thereby reversing the course various complex diseases. Although this technology is widely studied in humans, the potential for stem-cell therapy in dogs is not as well understood.

A research team from Osaka Prefecture University in Japan has been working on isolating induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from canine blood samples. iPSCs are a type of stem cell that can be programmed from a developed cell by introducing a specific set of genes. These genes code for proteins called transcription factors, which induce the changes to a pluripotent stem cell, which then can mature into various cell types. iPSCs can proliferate rapidly, providing a supply of stem cells for regenerative therapies.

In this study, they tested different combinations of inducing factors, which they believe are key to harvesting the full potential of these cells. Most importantly, the researchers need to be able to control how the reprogrammed cells replicated in the host body.

The authors believe that additional research into regenerative therapies for canines might have some ripple effects into therapies in human medicine as well.

Kimura, K., et al. “Efficient Reprogramming of Canine Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells into Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.” Stem Cells and Development, 2021; 30 (2): 79 DOI: 10.1089/ scd.2020.0084

This article has been reprinted with permission from the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine’s DogWatch newsletter, published by Belvoir Media Group. When you become a member of the Riney Canine Health Center, you will receive a free subscription to DogWatch.