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Stem Cell Res Ther. 2013 Apr 30;4(2):48. doi: 10.1186/scrt198.

Safety and efficacy of intravenous infusion of allogeneic cryopreserved mesenchymal stem cells for treatment of chronic kidney disease in cats: results of three sequential pilot studies.



Administration of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) has been shown to improve renal function in rodent models of chronic kidney disease (CKD), in part by reducing intrarenal inflammation and suppressing fibrosis. CKD in cats is characterized by tubulointerstitial inflammation and fibrosis, and thus treatment with MSCs might improve renal function and urinary markers of inflammation in this disease. Therefore, a series of pilot studies was conducted to assess the safety and efficacy of intravenous administration of allogeneic adipose-derived MSCs (aMSCs) in cats with naturally occurring CKD.


Cats enrolled in these studies received an intravenous infusion of allogeneic aMSCs every 2 weeks collected from healthy, young, specific pathogen-free cats. Cats in pilot study 1 (six cats) received 2 × 106 cryopreserved aMSCs per infusion, cats in pilot study 2 (five cats) received 4 × 106 cryopreserved aMSCs per infusion, and cats in pilot study 3 (five cats) received 4 × 106 aMSCs cultured from cryopreserved adipose. Serum biochemistry, complete blood count, urinalysis, urine protein, glomerular filtration rate, and urinary cytokine concentrations were monitored during the treatment period. Changes in clinical parameters were compared statistically by means of repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) followed by Bonferroni's correction.


Cats in pilot study 1 had few adverse effects from the aMSC infusions and there was a statistically significant decrease in serum creatinine concentrations during the study period, however the degree of decrease seems unlikely to be clinically relevant. Adverse effects of the aMSC infusion in cats in pilot study 2 included vomiting (2/5 cats) during infusion and increased respiratory rate and effort (4/5 cats). Cats in pilot study 3 did not experience any adverse side effects. Serum creatinine concentrations and glomerular filtration rates did not change significantly in cats in pilot studies 2 and 3.


Administration of cryopreserved aMSCs was associated with significant adverse effects and no discernible clinically relevant improvement in renal functional parameters. Administration of aMSCs cultured from cryopreserved adipose was not associated with adverse effects, but was also not associated with improvement in renal functional parameters.

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