Stem cells and stem cell therapy have been gaining a lot of attention recently, some of it are controversial. However, it is still important to understand about stem cell in general and the several approaches to stem cell therapy. So first, let us discuss about stem cell. Firstly, stem cell is an undifferentiated cell which has the ability to renew itself and also develop into a tissue with at least three different types.
Different Types of Stem Cells
There are many different categories of stem cells, this include allogenic, autologous and xenogenic. Analogenic stem cells refer to those that came from a donor of the same species. The fact that stem cells do not have the standard surface markers that can elicit immune response, no need to fear about the host tissue rejecting it. Autologous stem cells are those that came from the same animal. These type of cells are good for transplanting since there is no problem about them being rejected. The xenogenic stem cells come from a donor of another species, one example is a pig. Although it is likely that these cells are to be rejected when injected into the body of another species, in some cases, they can still survive because of their unique characteristics.
What are the Functions of the Stem Cells?
The most popularly cited function of stem cells is their ability to differentiate into different tissues, but they have other abilities that are very helpful for healing. Stem cells have the ability to recruit other local and systemic stem cells help focus on fixing damaged tissue.
The tissue signals the stem cells to go into an area based on the neural, mechanical and chemical changes in the body. Some examples that can trigger stem cells are inflammation and hypoxia, the stem cells then target the injury. The stem cells only account for less half of the new tissue formed and the rest are done by the cells recruited. This is why only a small amount of stem cells is injected. If you inject a larger number of stem cells, it can intervene with the healing process.
Using Stem Cell Therapy in Horses
The repair of ligament injuries in horses show the most promising. It is very hard to heal an injured ligament in a horse’s lower leg. The stem cells acquired from the own fat of the injured horse can be injected in the damaged area to start the healing with less scarring.
Stem cell therapy has a big potential and should be considered as a healing treatment for organ damage. Additionally, systemic stem cell therapy has the potential to be use in treating neurological conditions.