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Isolation, growth and differentiation of equine mesenchymal stem cells: effect of donor, source, amount of tissue and supplementation with basic fibroblast growth factor


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are increasingly used as therapeutical aid for the orthopaedic injuries in the horse. MSC populate different tissues but the most commonly used for clinical purposes are isolated from bone marrow or adipose tissue. The first objective of this study was to investigate if the donor animal, the tissue of origin and the technique of isolation could influence the number of MSC available for transplantation after a short-term expansion. The second aim was to devise a culture system capable of increasing MSC lifespan and we tested the effect of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF). Results indicate that MSC can be efficiently isolated from both sources and supplementation of bFGF enhances proliferation rate maintaining differentiation potential. In addition, this study shows that collection, expansion and storage of frozen MSC can be performed for later therapeutic use.

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We thank Dr. Andrea Perota for osteonectin primers design and analysis of sequence homology.


This work was supported by grants from MUR (PRIN and TECLA), Fondazione Cariplo (NOBEL)

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Correspondence to Silvia Colleoni.

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Colleoni, S., Bottani, E., Tessaro, I. et al. Isolation, growth and differentiation of equine mesenchymal stem cells: effect of donor, source, amount of tissue and supplementation with basic fibroblast growth factor. Vet Res Commun 33, 811 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11259-009-9229-0

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  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Equine
  • Orthopaedic injuries
  • Bone marrow
  • Adipose tissue