Adipose-derived stem cell collection and characterization in bottlenose dolphins

Published Results of Vet-Stem and US Navy Study of Bottlenose Dolphins

2012-05-07 -- Abstract To assess the regenerative properties and potential therapeutic value of adipose-derived stem cells in the bottlenose dolphin, there is a need to determine if an adequate adipose depot exists, in addition to the development of a standardized technique for minimally invasive adipose collection. In this study, an ultrasound-guided liposuction technique for adipose collection was assessed for safety and efficacy. Ultrasound was utilized to identify and measure the post-nuchal adipose depot and aid in the guidance of the liposuction cannula during aspiration. Liposuction procedures from six dolphins yielded 0.9 to 12.7 grams of adipose. All samples yielded sufficient nucleated cells to initiate primary cell cultures, and at Passage 2, were successfully differentiated into adipogenic, chondrogenic, neurogenic, and osteogenic cell lineages. The cultured dolphin cells expressed known stem cell associated CD markers, CD44 and CD90. Ultrasound-guided liposuction proved to be a safe and minimally invasive procedure that resulted in successful isolation of adipose-derived stem cells in bottlenose dolphins. This is the first paper to conclusively establish the presence of stem cells in the dolphin.

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