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Theriogenology. 2011 May;75(8):1431-43. doi: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2010.11.008. Epub 2010 Dec 31.

Markers of stemness in equine mesenchymal stem cells: a plea for uniformity.

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  • 1Department of Reproduction, Obstetrics and Herd Health, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium.


Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) are a very promising subpopulation of adult stem cells for cell-based regenerative therapies in veterinary medicine. Despite major progress in the knowledge on adult stem cells during recent years, a proper identification of MSC remains a challenge. In human medicine, the Mesenchymal and Tissue Stem Cell Committee of the International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT) recently proposed three criteria to define MSC. Firstly, cells must be plastic-adherent when maintained under standard culture conditions. Secondly, MSC must express CD73, CD90 and CD105, and lack expression of CD34, CD45, CD14 or CD11b, CD79α or CD19 and MHC class II antigens. Thirdly, MSC must be able to differentiate into osteoblasts, adipocytes and chondroblasts in vitro. Successful isolation and differentiation of equine MSC from different sources such as bone marrow, fat tissue, umbilical cord blood, Wharton's Jelly or peripheral blood has been widely reported. However, their unequivocal immunophenotyping is hampered by the lack of a single specific marker and the limited availability of monoclonal anti-horse antibodies, which are two major factors complicating successful research on equine MSC. Detection of gene expression on mRNA level is hereby a valuable alternative, although the need still exists to test several antibody clones in search for cross-reactivity. To date, commercial antibodies recognizing equine epitopes are only available for CD13, CD44 and MHC-II. Moreover, as the expression of certain adult stem cell markers may differ between species, it is mandatory to define a set of CD markers which can be uniformly applied for the identification of equine MSC.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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