Researchers Harvest Uterine Stem Cells From Horses

Laboratory results show the stem cells can differentiate into fat, bone, cartilage, and muscle tissue.
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Mesenchymal stem cells are multipotent cells found in a number of tissues that can differentiate into various cell types. As such, they provide an enormous potential for regenerative medicine. Such progenitor cells have been used clinically for about 15 years to treat several tendon and joint conditions in horses.

Until now, the stem cells, however, needed for therapeutic purposes have usually been harvested surgically from the animals’ bone marrow or fat tissue. Researchers from the Vetmeduni Vienna Centre for Artificial Insemination and Embryo Transfer, in Austria, have, for the first time, successfully harvested stem cells from a horse’s horses. The procedure requires no surgical intervention and the laboratory results show that the cells differentiate into cartilage and other tissues.

Unlike bone marrow or fat tissue, the uterus can be accessed nonsurgically using small instruments inserted via the cervix.

“While the human endometrium is known to harbour stem cells, these had previously not been identified in equine endometrium,” say Elisabeth Rink, MagMedVet. and Christine Aurich, DVM, PhD, from the Vetmeduni Vienna Centre for Artificial Insemination and Embryo Transfer

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