The Future of Dog Health: Scientists Develop Unprecedented Painless Method To Reprogram Canine Stem Cells

Stem Cells Dog

Researchers at Osaka Metropolitan University have innovatively reprogrammed canine stem cells from urine to create induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) without feeder cells. This breakthrough in non-invasive, pain-free stem cell generation paves the way for new advancements in veterinary regenerative medicine and genetic disease research, offering hope for treating previously incurable diseases in dogs. Credit: Shingo Hatoya, Osaka Metropolitan University

A new method has been developed to generate canine-induced pluripotent stem cells from urine samples in dogs without the need for feeder cells.

Dog owners may need to learn to appreciate their best friend’s urine. Researchers at Osaka Metropolitan University have developed a new method that’s efficient, non-invasive, and painless for reprogramming stem cells from dogs’ urine. This breakthrough paves the way for advancements in veterinary regenerative treatments for our four-legged companions.

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have been widely employed in studies on human generative medicine. With the growing importance of advanced medical care for dogs and cats, there is an expectation that new therapies utilizing iPSCs will be developed for these companion animals, just as they have been for humans.

Unfortunately, canine somatic cells exhibit lower reprogramming efficiency compared to those of humans, limiting the types of canine cells available for generating iPSCs. IPSC induction often involves using feeder cells from a different species. However, considering the associated risks, minimizing xenogeneic components is often advisable, signifying the need to improve the efficiency of reprogramming various types of canine cells in dogs without using feeder cells.

Breakthrough in Canine iPSC Generation

A research team led by Professor Shingo Hatoya and Dr. Masaya Tsukamoto from the Graduate School of Veterinary Science at Osaka Metropolitan University has identified six reprogramming genes that can boost canine iPSC generation by about 120 times compared to conventional methods using fibroblasts. The iPSCs were created from urine-derived cells using a non-invasive, straightforward, and painless method.

Additionally, the researchers succeeded in generating canine iPSCs without feeder cells, a feat that had been impossible until now. The team aims to disseminate their findings in the global research community, contributing to advances in regenerative medicine and genetic disease research in veterinary medicine.

“As a veterinarian, I have examined and treated many animals,” explained Professor Hatoya. “However, there are still many diseases that either cannot be cured or have not been fully understood. In the future, I am committed to continuing my research on differentiating canine iPSCs into various types of cells and applying them to treat sick dogs, hopefully bringing joy to many animals and their owners.”

Reference: “Generation of canine induced pluripotent stem cells under feeder-free conditions using Sendai virus vector encoding six canine reprogramming factors” by Masaya Tsukamoto, Kazuto Kimura, Takumi Yoshida, Miyuu Tanaka, Mitsuru Kuwamura, Taro Ayabe, Genki Ishihara, Kei Watanabe, Mika Okada, Minoru Iijima, Mahito Nakanishi, Hidenori Akutsu, Kikuya Sugiura and Shingo Hatoya, 21 December 2023, Stem Cell Reports.
DOI: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2023.11.010

The study was funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, the Japan Science and Technology Agency, Anicom Specialty Medical Institute, Inc, and Osaka Metropolitan University.

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