Stem Cell Injection Site Reactions in Horses

Horses are at risk of adverse effects anytime they receive injections. However, researchers recently determined that stem cell injection site reactions in horses were uncommon in the population they studied.
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stem cell injection site reactions in horses
Madhu Dhar, MS, PhD, (pictured above) is a member of the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine Large Animal Regenerative Medicine Team, which that conducts research in the use of stem cells, biomaterials, and other forms of regenerative therapy. | Photo: Courtesy of the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine

Horses are at risk of adverse effects anytime they receive injections. However, researchers recently determined that stem cell injection site reactions in horses were uncommon in the population they studied.

Veterinarians use bone-marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) to treat a variety of musculoskeletal injuries in horses. In a perfect world, and in some cases, veterinarians collect bone marrow from the injured horse to culture into stem cells for use in that individual. However, that’s not always a practical option. Stem cells take time and funds to produce, which many horses and owners simply don’t have.

Practitioners now have the option of using stem cells produced from another horse’s bone marrow. These MSCs can be just as or even more effective than using a horse’s own stem cells, but using tissues harvested from one animal for use in another has been a source of concern, said Tena Ursini, DVM, CERP, a large animal clinical sciences clinical instructor at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, in Knoxville

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Katie Navarra has worked as a freelance writer since 2001. A lifelong horse lover, she owns and enjoys competing a dun Quarter Horse mare.

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