Veterinary student investigates equine stem cell therapy - DVM
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Veterinary student investigates equine stem cell therapy
University of Georgia veterinary doctoral student receives AAEP grant for work on regenerative medicine.


Originally Boone and her colleagues wanted to look at normal synovial fluid to see if BMSCs injected into that environment would be viable or if some would die or be lost. "Preliminary data seems to show the viability is not altered," Boone says. "The BMSCs survive fine and do seem to slightly proliferate in the synovial fluid. You don't have a sharp die-off of cells."

Boone is now trying to repeat those studies, but it's difficult because you have to harvest quite a bit of synovial fluid, and it takes a lot of time.

"If you inject 20 million cells within a joint, they should have time to find where they need to go and have the nutrients they need until they find another source of nutrients," says Boone. "We think they find those needed nutrients in the synovial membrane due to its vascularity."

The first thing is determining whether they live and whether the synovial fluid pushes them toward a chondrogenic phenotype. "Our data is preliminary," Boone cautions.

In the clinic, Boone and her colleagues tend to inject BMSCs in platelet-rich plasma (PRP) into joints. "I was interested in using allogenic stem cells and using autologous PRP. What I wanted to know: Was there any difference between use of allogenic PRP and autologous PRP and its introduction to stem cells on the viability, chondrogenesis and proliferation?"

The variance of PRP work is the basis for the grant she was awarded—the difference between using allogenic vs. autologous PRP with BMSCs.

Boone's hope is to advance her studies, to take her allogenic work into a model system—either a joint-defect or OA model—and look at allogenic bone marrow-derived stem cells. She's unsure if she'll be able to look at the model studies, though, because of financing issues. Maybe another grant or fellowship is in the future?

Ed Kane, PhD, is a researcher and consultant in animal nutrition. He is an author and editor on nutrition, physiology and veterinary medicine with a background in horses, pets and livestock. Kane is based in Seattle.


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2. Vidal, MA, Robinson SO, Lopez MJ, et al. Comparison of chondrogenic potential in equine mesenchymal stromal cells derived from adipose tissue and bone marrow. Vet Surg 2008;37(8):713-724.

3. Frisbie, DD, Smith RKW. Clinical update on the use of mesenchymal stem cells in equine orthopedics. Eq Vet J 2010;42(1):86-89.

4. Peroni, JF, Borjesson DL. Anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activities of stem cells. Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract 2011;27(2):351-362.


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