Canine atopic dermatitis (AD) is a common skin disease with a 10-15 per cent prevalence. Current treatments vary in their efficacy and safety. The immunomodulatory properties of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) make them a promising alternative treatment. The aim of this study was to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy and safety of allogeneic canine adipose MSCs (cAd-MSCs) in dogs with refractory AD. Twenty-six dogs, suffering from AD for at least 12 months, not responding to conventional therapy, received an intravenous dose of 1.5×106 cAd-MSCs/kg bodyweight. Clinical signs, haematological and biochemistry profiles, and AD severity were assessed in a six-month follow-up using a validated scoring system (Canine Atopic Dermatitis Extent and Severity Index, version 4 (CADESI-04)). The degree of pruritus was quantified using a validated visual analogue scale, and also owner's global assessment of treatment efficacy. Twenty-two animals completed the study. Pruritus and CADESI-04 scores decreased significantly after one week or month of treatment, respectively, and remained stable for six months. Owner's global assessment score was 2.15±1.15 for all the animals in the study. In conclusion, systemic administration of allogeneic cAd-MSCs appeared to be a simple therapy with positive outcome in the remission of clinical signs for AD refractory to conventional medications, for at least six months and with no adverse events.
Keywords: canine atopic dermatitis; canine medicine; cell therapy; mesenchymal stem cells; refractory autoimmune diseases.
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