Repeated Intravenous Mesenchymal Stem Cell Administration in Two Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) with Veno-Occlusive Disease
American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Conference 2019
Matthew E. Kinney1, DVM, DACZM; Meredith M. Clancy1, DVM, MPH, DACZM; Lauren L. Howard1, DVM, DACZM; Robert Harman2, DVM, MPVM; Ilse H. Stalis3, DVM, DACVP
1Department of Veterinary Services, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Escondido, CA, USA; 2VetStem, Poway, CA, USA; 3Disease Investigations, Institute for Conservation Research, San Diego Zoo Global, San Diego, CA, USA


Two zoo-housed cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) (cheetah A and B) with hepatic veno-occlusive disease diagnosed via laparoscopic liver biopsy were administered allogenic adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) intravenously. MSC were cultured after laparoscopic collection of adipose tissue from the falciform ligament of a donor cheetah with no evidence of hepatic disease. After isolation and culture expansion at a commercial laboratory, mesenchymal stem cells were administered intravenously through an 18-micron filter over 10 minutes. Both cheetahs received three treatments approximately three weeks apart, with MSC doses increasing from six million cells to 18 million cells. A fourth treatment of 36 million cells was administered to cheetah A following severe elevations in hepatocellular leakage enzymes. A fourth treatment of 18 million cells was administered to cheetah B at repeat laparoscopic liver biopsy six months following the first MSC treatment. Physiologic parameters were monitored during MSC administration, and no adverse effects were observed during any of the eight MSC administrations. Cheetah A was euthanized nine months following initial laparoscopic liver biopsy, eight months following the first dose of MSC, and 16 days following the final dose of 36 million cells. Cheetah B is currently alive 18 months following initial laparoscopic liver biopsy, 16 months following the first MSC dose, eight months following the most recent dose. Hepatocellular enzymes and serum bile acids remain mild to moderately elevated and are monitored every one to three months.


Speaker Information
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Matthew E. Kinney, DVM, DACZM
Department of Veterinary Services
San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Escondido, CA, USA

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