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Equine Vet J. 2008 Mar;40(2):178-81. doi: 10.2746/042516408X276942.

Monitoring the fate of autologous and allogeneic mesenchymal progenitor cells injected into the superficial digital flexor tendon of horses: preliminary study.

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University of Cambridge, Department of Veterinary Medicine Equine Fertility Unit, Mertoun Paddocks, Woodditton Road, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 9BH, UK.


Autologous mesenchymal progenitor cells (MPCs) purified from bone marrow aspirates are being used in the treatment of superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) injuries in the horse with promising results. In this study the fate of autologous and allogeneic MPCs following injection into the SDFT was monitored by stable transfection of MPCs with green fluorescent protein (GFP). Small lesions were created manually in one forelimb SDFT of 2 horses and injected with autologous MPCs, allogeneic MPCs or bone marrow supernatant alone. Post mortem examinations performed after 10 or 34 days revealed GFP labelled cells located mainly within injected lesions, but with a small proportion integrated into the crimp pattern of adjacent healthy areas of tendon. Furthermore, there was no visible cell mediated immune response to allogeneic MPCs in either of the host horses.

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