One Health Club Meeting Recap–February 1, 2018


One Health Club Meeting Recap–February 1, 2018

“The Translational Science of the Emerging Field of Regenerative Medicine in Large Animals”

Dr. John Peroni, DVM, MS, Dip ACVS

Dr. Peroni’s Bone Peanut Butter

Lecture Audio

Bone breakages are expensive and cause plenty of unhappiness, in animal and in human patients. In collaboration with Rice, a large animal fracture model was developed by Peroni Lab, and a ‘peanut butter’-like putty hypothesized to assist in fracture healing, especially in bone shattering traumatic models, was proposed. Inflammation indicates that some tissue is recruited for healing – we know this is true as it happens when we see red tissue and feel pain and puffiness. Blood cells and leukocytes are recruited into a hematoma (blood clot), which provides a scaffold for new tissue. This putty, which will help promote new tissue, is applicable for the military, which helps sponsor the project, childhood fractures which can’t be operated on, and plenty of day-to-day people and animals.

But there’s reason against it: within months, small fractures can heal exactly as well. So, this would likely be employed in very specific cases… Another reason for bone putty? Soft tissue disruption around the site of injury upon traumatic events impede healing, and could use the “help” of new cells which recruit healing processes that surrounding tissue otherwise would have, but upon injury, cannot. Bone grafting hasn’t changed much for a long time: so, it seems to be a good time for fracture putty! Stem cells, viruses, and bone morphogenic proteins were assigned as the main players in this putty. The stem cells were adult, not fetal, and came from bone marrow and fat tissue. The stem cell ingredient is very interesting on its own: bone marrow is tapped into in horses, for example, from hip or sternum, and stem cells from there are grown in the lab by professionals. The bone morphogenic proteins (BMP) are growth signals that ‘assign’ non-specific cell its new job: to become bone!

A virus carries the BMP gene and infects cells with the gene, infecting cells with the new assignment. The mouse model looks great. Healing of breaks was dose-dependent, neat (after remodeling, the bone created by putty was smooth and linear), and not troubling. In sheep, a very non-invasive shin-bone procedure that was either control or treated with putty, showed completely non-predictable results. Moral of the story? Translational medicine is extremely difficult. There is plenty to do before application of this and other treatments: plenty of collaboration, experimentation, and discussion. The sharing of medicine across species, both non-human animal to human, non-human animal to non-human animal, and even human to human, requires tact and brainstorming.

During this lecture we saw great discussion brainstorming the reasons why the sheep model was not nearly as promising: was it the viral carrier? Dose of BMP or stem cells? Administration method? Scaffolding? And, say in humans, how would this be put into practice when harvesting and growing cells from a patient takes weeks? Discussion and planning of allosteric transplants is required, and for that, you need veterinary, human medical, scientific, legal, and other specialists to create a new and useful therapeutic system.