Principles of stem cell therapy in the horse - the science behind the technology

Smith, R K W (2008) Principles of stem cell therapy in the horse - the science behind the technology. Pferdeheilkunde, 24 (4). 508-+.

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Tendon and ligament overstrain injuries in the horse are appropriate diseases to consider for stem cell therapy because normal fibrous repair results in reduced functionality, typified by poorer performance and a high rate of re-injury. Exogenously administered mesenchymal stern cells (MSCs) have the potential of inducing a regenerative response because of their capability to differentiate into different cell types. They have been shown to express tendon-related genes when cultured on tendon matrices and are capable of generating 3D structures with many similarities to tendon in vitro. In vivo, implantation of MSCs has demonstrated improved healing of surgically-created tendon defects in laboratory animal models. Based on these observations reviewed here, we have therefore hypothesised that the implantation of outologous mesenchymal stem cells, in far greater numbers than are present normally within tendon tissue, would have the potential of regenerating or improving the repair of the tendon in overstrain injuries in the horse. Our clinical experience of this technology is presented in a separate paper.

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