Mesenchymal stem cells contribute to the regeneration of mesenchymal tissues such as bone, cartilage, muscle, ligament, tendon, adipose, and marrow stroma. Transduction of mesenchymal stem cells from species other than humans is required for the development of disease models in which mesenchymal stem cells-based gene delivery is evaluated. Attempts to transduce mesenchymal stem cells from some species with amphotropic retroviral vectors were unsuccessful, leading to comparative mesenchymal stem cells transductions with xenotropic and gibbonape leukemia virus envelope-pseudotyped retroviral vectors. Human, baboon, canine, and rat mesenchymal stem cells were transduced optimally with amphotropic vector supernatants. In contrast, sheep, goat, and pig mesenchymal stem cells showed highest transduction levels with xenotropic retroviral vector supernatant, and rabbit mesenchymal stem cells were transduced optimally with gibbon-ape-enveloped vectors. Using a myeloablative canine transplantation model and gene-marked canine mesenchymal stem cells, the biodistribution of infused and ex vivo expanded mesenchymal stem cells were examined. The majority of transduced canine mesenchymal stem cells were found in the bone marrow samples. The current study shows the use of mesenchymal stem cells as a delivery vehicle for gene transfer studies, and validates the feasibility of delivering mesenchymal stem cells to the marrow compartment for stromal regeneration after cancer-associated cytotoxic therapies.

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