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Can Vet J. 2009 Feb;50(2):155-65.

Current and future regenerative medicine - principles, concepts, and therapeutic use of stem cell therapy and tissue engineering in equine medicine.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1, Canada. tkoch@uoguelph.ca

Abstract

This paper provides a bird's-eye perspective of the general principles of stem-cell therapy and tissue engineering; it relates comparative knowledge in this area to the current and future status of equine regenerative medicine.The understanding of equine stem cell biology, biofactors, and scaffolds, and their potential therapeutic use in horses are rudimentary at present. Mesenchymal stem cell isolation has been proclaimed from several equine tissues in the past few years. Based on the criteria of the International Society for Cellular Therapy, most of these cells are more correctly referred to as multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells, unless there is proof that they exhibit the fundamental in vivo characteristics of pluripotency and the ability to self-renew. That said, these cells from various tissues hold great promise for therapeutic use in horses. The 3 components of tissue engineering - cells, biological factors, and biomaterials - are increasingly being applied in equine medicine, fuelled by better scaffolds and increased understanding of individual biofactors and cell sources.The effectiveness of stem cell-based therapies and most tissue engineering concepts has not been demonstrated sufficiently in controlled clinical trials in equine patients to be regarded as evidence-based medicine. In the meantime, the medical mantra "do no harm" should prevail, and the application of stem cell-based therapies in the horse should be done critically and cautiously, and treatment outcomes (good and bad) should be recorded and reported.Stem cell and tissue engineering research in the horse has exciting comparative and equine specific perspectives that most likely will benefit the health of horses and humans. Controlled, well-designed studies are needed to move this new equine research field forward.

PMID:
19412395
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2629419
Free PMC Article

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