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Pluripotency induction of urine derived cells of healthy and diagnosed dogs with Canine Cognitive Dysfunction as a study model for neurodegenerative diseases

Grant number: 23/01893-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): May 01, 2023
Effective date (End): April 30, 2024
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Veterinary Medicine
Principal Investigator:Fabiana Fernandes Bressan
Grantee:Elizabeth Bartok de Almeida
Host Institution: Faculdade de Zootecnia e Engenharia de Alimentos (FZEA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Pirassununga , SP, Brazil


The possibility of reprogramming somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), due to their ability to differentiate into tissues of the three embryonic layers, offers an unprecedented opportunity in translational and regenerative medicine, especially for neurological disorders. In this context, it is worth highlighting Alzheimer's Disease (AD), a neurodegenerative disorder that progressively affects cognition and behavior in humans and which does not have well-established biological, therapeutic and prophylactic mechanisms yet. At the same time, dogs have a disease naturally similar to AD in terms of pathology and symptoms, the Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD). Therefore, both can be considered analogous diseases. Thus, this proposal aims to develop a study model through the reprogramming of urine-derived cells, obtained by a non-invasive method, from healthy dogs or diagnosed with CCD. These cells will be reprogrammed to pluripotency using human or murine polycistronic lentiviral vectors and characterized for alkaline phosphatase detection, immunocytochemical and gene expression analysis by RT-qPCR. It is expected that the cells obtained in this study can be used in the future for differentiation into neural progenitor cells, and later, mature neural cells (neurons, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes), contributing to the understanding of CCD and AD, as well as the development of new treatments.

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