Study: Gene Therapy Can Help Reduce Equine Lameness
Scientists used the gene therapy technology in horses that were lame due to injury. They found that within two to three weeks, horses were sound at the walk and trot.
“This pioneering study advances not only equine medicine but has real implications for how other species and humans are treated for lameness and other disorders in the future,” said Catrin Rutland, BSc, PGCHE, MSc, MMedSci, PhD, SFHEA, FAS, assistant professor of anatomy and developmental genetics at the University of Nottingham. “The horses returned to full health after their injuries and did not have any adverse side effects. This is a very exciting medical innovation.”
In their study, the researchers used a combination of the vascular endothelial growth factor gene, VEGF164, to enhance the growth of blood vessels and bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2), which plays an important role in the development of bone and cartilage. Both the genes were derived from horses, resulting in the biosynthesis of natural horse proteins in the treated animals. They were cloned into a single plasmid DNA, which is both biologically safe and unlikely to provoke an immune reaction from the body, the team
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