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Exp Hematol. 2002 Aug;30(8):879-86.

Isolation and characterization of multipotential mesenchymal stem cells from feline bone marrow.

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  • 1The Scott-Ritchey Research Center, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, Ala 36849, USA.



Although several types of stem cells have been isolated from rodent and human tissues, very few data exist on stem cell isolation from nonrodent animals, which seriously limits the advancement of stem cell biology and its ultimate translation to human clinical applications. Domestic cats are used frequently in biomedical research and are the preferred species for studies of normal physiology and disease, particularly in neuroscience. Therefore, the objective of this study was to characterize mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) from feline bone marrow for use in research on the application of stem cells to human health problems for which cats are the preferred model.


Mesenchymal stem cells from feline bone marrow were isolated by standard methodology developed for other species and characterized according to morphology, growth traits, cell-surface antigen profile, and differentiation repertoire in vitro.


Feline mesenchymal stem cells exhibit a fibroblast-like morphology with bipolar or polygonal cell bodies and possess a cell-surface antigen profile similar to their rodent and human counterparts. Feline MSC exist at a frequency of 1 in 3.8 x 10(5) bone marrow mononuclear cells and are capable of differentiation to adipocytic, osteocytic, and neuronal phenotypes when exposed to appropriate induction media.


Mesenchymal stem cells isolated from feline bone marrow possess several traits typical of MSC from other species. Characterization of feline mesenchymal stem cells will facilitate future studies of stem cell biology and therapeutics for which the domestic cat is an indispensable model.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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