Aug 30, 2011

Dogs May Rescue Dolphins

Posted by Bob under Stem Cell Therapy

Veterinary regenerative medicine made its start with horses, but has grown dramatically since its introduction into canine medicine.  In May this year, the first public presentation on stem cell isolation from dolphins was given by Dr. Shawn Johnson at the International Association for Aquatic Animal Medicine in Las Vegas.

 The project is a funded three-year collaboration between the Office of Naval Research and Vet-Stem, Inc. to assess the regenerative capacity in bottlenose dolphins and develop a minimally invasive technique to collect stem cells for clinical use.  The research project is based on over 8 years of clinical research at Vet-Stem and the practical treatment of over 3,500 dogs and 4,000 horses with adipose-derived stem cells.   The published data on stem cell therapy for arthritis in dogs was one of the key reasons the Navy contacted Vet-Stem.  Dr. Johnson reported the successful liposuction of dolphins using a technique originally designed for the human, but adapted and validated in the horse.

 In addition, Vet-Stem was able to successfully culture the isolated stem cells and demonstrate they could differentiate into nerve cells, cartilage, bone, and fat.  Ongoing work is being performed to demonstrate the advantages of use of these stem cells in healing skin wounds and in the development of off-the-shelf cell products for dolphin therapy.  Future studies may evaluate the therapy for treating eye, kidney, and liver disease, as well as for hearing loss in the dolphin.


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