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Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is the second most common heart disease in dogs. Some breeds are at higher risk of developing DCM; studies show this progressive and fatal disease affects up to 63% of Doberman pinschers in North America. A major roadblock hampering further research in canine DCM is the inability to successfully culture cardiac muscle cells. Cultures are vital research tools that help with the discovery process for new diagnostics, therapy targets and treatments. As an alternative to standard culture methods, researchers will look at using stem cells and cellular reprogramming technologies to create an in-vitro model to study DCM.  Using skin samples from affected and healthy Doberman pinschers, researchers will reprogram the cells to stem cells which will be induced to form heart muscle cells. If successful, this novel culture technique will help researchers further study the molecular basis of DCM and screen novel candidate drugs to help affected dogs. 

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University of California/Davis
Study country
United States
Amir Kol, DVM, PhD
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