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. So, a stem cell is defined as an undifferentiated cell that can return to itself and develop into at least three different types of tissues.
Types of Stem Cells
There are a lot of categories of stem cells, and this include allogenic, autologous, and xenogenic. Allogenic stem cells are those that came from a donor of a similar species. These type of cells can be utilized without fearing about rejection by the host tissue since stem cells do not have the standard surface markers that can trigger immune response. 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. Meanwhile, xenogenic stem cells refer to those that came from a donor of another species, for example 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.
How Do Stem Cells Work?
Stem cells have the ability to differentiate into different tissues, as well as the ability that are beneficial for healing. Stem cells help get other local and systemic cells to focus on mending damaged tissue.
Stem cells are triggered to move into an area by signals coming from the tissue based on mechanical, chemical and neural changes. 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 the very reason why only a tiny injection of stem cells is needed. If you inject a larger number of stem cells, it can intervene with the healing process.
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.
Certainly, the stem cell therapy has a huge potential and it can be applied as a healing treatment for any injuries. Additionally, systemic stem cell therapy has the potential to be use in treating neurological conditions.