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Veterinary Applications of Stem Cell Research

Veterinary Applications of Stem Cell Research

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An essay for the 2012 Undergraduate Awards Competition by Ciara Sweeney. Originally submitted for Animal Science , with lecturer David MacHugh in the category of Life Sciences
An essay for the 2012 Undergraduate Awards Competition by Ciara Sweeney. Originally submitted for Animal Science , with lecturer David MacHugh in the category of Life Sciences

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Published by: Undergraduate Awards on Aug 30, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/06/2014

 
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Veterinary Applications of Stem Cell Research _________________________________________
 Abstract 
Prospects of aiding tissue production and regeneration have led to stem cells being heavilyresearched in the veterinary field. Adult stem cells are multipotent and can differentiate into cellsfrom the organ from which they were derived. Stem cells can be derived from bone marrow,umbilical cord blood and peripheral blood (haematopoietic stem cells) or from umbilical cord tissue,fat and bone marrow (mesenchymal stem cells). Mesenchymal stem cells have successfully treatedequine tendon injuries beyond what conventional therapies have allowed reducing re-injury ratesfrom 80% to between 13-36%. Additionally stem cells have had more success over current genetherapies in the treatment of muscular dystrophy in Golden Retrievers. Studies have shownreduction in pain levels and return of some level of function in dogs with osteoarthritis of both thehip and elbow joint following intraarticular injection of adipose derived stem cells. Embryonic stemcells have shown promise in promoting spinal cord regeneration in rats. Embryonic stem cells havethe potential to differentiate into nerve cells, oligodendrocytes and astrocytes. Sensory andfunctional improvement was observed but the study was limited by a lack of evidence to suggestregeneration of the spinal cord tissue. Stem cells have also shown increased aortic blood flow indogs with cardiomyopathy but no functional change in blood pressure or electrocardiogrammeasurements. Additionally studies have shown how the appropriate support medium improves theefficiency of stem cells at injured sites as demonstrated with the use of platelet rich plasma as ascaffold for bone formation. Currently, studies have shown how stem cell research has given rise tonew treatments in the veterinary industry. Commercially stem cells have been used for tendon andligament treatments in horses since 2003 and with further developments more commercialtreatments will become available. Additionally stem cell research can help to bridge theunderstanding of mechanisms that underpin the disease and the widespread clinical use.
 
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Contents
 Background ......................................................................................................................................... 1Applications......................................................................................................................................... 3Equine Tendon Repair ..................................................................................................................... 3Ophthalmology ............................................................................................................................... 4Bone Regeneration ......................................................................................................................... 4Cartilage Regeneration ................................................................................................................... 5Muscle Regeneration ...................................................................................................................... 6Spinal Cord Injuries ......................................................................................................................... 7Organ Disease ................................................................................................................................. 8Limitations and Future Uses ............................................................................................................... 8Bibliography .......................................................................................................................................... 10
Background
Therapeutic cloning involves the cloning of stem cells. Rejection is avoided becausethe stem cells are derived from the patient to whom they shall then be used to treat (Black,
et al.,
2007).There are many different forms of stem cells and it is important to understand the mode of action of each type before they can be applied to clinical treatment. Embryonic stem cellsare pluripotent and as such can differentiate into any cell of the body (Fortier, 2005). Thereis however ethical implications associated with the use of embryonic stem cells which haslimited their study as they are derived from the inner cell mass of an embryo (Takahashi &Yamanaka, 2006). Study of these cells could better help us understand diseases (Kim,
et al.,
 2008).Adult stem cells or somatic stem cells are multipotent, being able to differentiate into thecells only found in the organ in which they were originally derived (Fortier, 2005). Twocommon types of multipotent stem cells are haematopoietic stem cells (HSC) derived frombone marrow, umbilical cord blood and peripheral blood, and mesenchymal stem cells(MSCs) commonly derived from bone marrow, umbilical cord tissue and fat (Fortier, 2005).
 
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MSCs have been heavily researched in the veterinary field over the years due to theprospects of using them in tissue production and regeneration (Black,
et al.,
2007).
Figure 1: Illustration of potential development of adult stem cells
(
Gattegno-Ho, Argyle, & Argyle,2012).
Research in the last few years has also yielded the potential to reprogram adult stem cells sothat they can produce any cell from any organ or tissue in the body (Kim,
et al.,
2008). Thisessentially removes the ethical implications associated with embryonic stem cells giving apromising replacement. It is not yet clear the extent to which these cells can be used inclinical treatment but future applications look bright.Stem cells have several modes of actions that make them beneficial as a treatment. Theyare capable of forming cartilage, bone, tendon and ligament cells and have been shown toinduce an anti-inflammatory effect in damaged tissue while recruiting more stem cells tothe area to increase the rate of healing. Stem cells have also been shown to inhibitapoptosis (Richardson
et al.,
2007).

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