Original Article
Copyright ©2014 Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Transplant. Sep 24, 2014; 4(3): 196-205
Published online Sep 24, 2014. doi: 10.5500/wjt.v4.i3.196
Intra-articular transplantation of porcine adipose-derived stem cells for the treatment of canine osteoarthritis: A pilot study
Shen-Yang Tsai, Yun-Ching Huang, Ling-Ling Chueh, Lih-Seng Yeh, Ching-Shwun Lin
Shen-Yang Tsai, Lih-Seng Yeh, Institute of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan
Yun-Ching Huang, Division of Urology, Department of Surgery, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chia-Yi 60003, Taiwan
Ling-Ling Chueh, Graduate Institute of Veterinary Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan
Ching-Shwun Lin, Department of Urology, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143-0738, United States
Author contributions: All authors contributed to this work.
Supported by The National Taiwan University
Correspondence to: Dr. Ching-Shwun Lin, Department of Urology, School of Medicine, University of California, 533 Parnassus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94143-0738, United States. clin@urology.ucsf.edu
Telephone: +1-415-4763800 Fax: +1-415-4763803
Received: December 21, 2013
Revised: March 16, 2014
Accepted: June 27, 2014
Published online: September 24, 2014

AIM: To test whether intra-articular injection of porcine adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) can treat canine osteoarthritis (OA).

METHODS: To enroll in this study dogs must have stifle joint OA that had lasted ≥ 3 mo and been treated with OA medication without significant improvement. Three dogs fulfilled these criteria and were thus subjects for ADSCs treatment. ADSCs were isolated from abdominal adipose tissue of a 2-mo-old female Yorkshire pig. Their stem cell marker expression was examined by immunofluorescence staining. For treatment, 5 million ADSCs were injected into the diseased joint of each dog. In the next 48 h, the patient was observed for signs of inflammatory and allergic reactions. The patient was then discharged to the owner and, at 2, 6, and 12 wk, followed up with orthopedic assessment, owner questionnaire, X-ray imaging, and force-plate gait analysis.

RESULTS: Porcine ADSCs expressed mesenchymal stem cell markers CD90 and CD105. Injection of porcine ADSCs into canine stifle joints did not cause any inflammatory or allergic reactions. Orthopedic evaluation found improvements in two dogs, particularly at the longest time point. Owners’ evaluation found increased capacity and decreased pain in all three dogs’ activities such as walking and running. Radiographic evaluation did not find statistically significant differences before and after treatment. Force-plate analysis found significant improvements in all three dogs after treatment.

CONCLUSION: Xenotransplantation of ADSCs for the treatment of OA is feasible. Further studies are needed to validate this novel treatment modality, which can then be implemented for the routine treatment of OA in veterinary medicine.

Keywords: Canine osteoarthritis, Adipose-derived stem cells, Intra-articular transplantation, Intra-articular injection, Veterinary clinical study

Core tip: Intra-articular injection of autologous adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) has been shown to be effective in treating osteoarthritis in dogs. However, most veterinary clinics lack the equipment and expertise for ADSC isolation. The present study showed that intra-articular injection of porcine ADSCs into the diseased stifle joint of three dogs improved their mobility and activity and lessened their pain. The injection of porcine ADSCs elicited no signs of inflammation or immunological reaction. Thus, porcine ADSCs can substitute for autologous canine ADSCs, and such a treatment strategy can drastically reduce treatment cost.