This informs us that the originalpromise of stem cells has been met. Anything that can be done in a horse can also be done in a human andtreatment protocols can now be developed first with horses before they are usedon us. This will hugely speed up theprocess of development simply because the horse is also a large mammal.
We may also be able to rescue afew damaged race horses.
I expect that the otherparticipant in research will be sports medicine. Professional sportsmen are subject to anintense regimen that produces a lot of damage and stem cell therapy will speedrecovery. Recall that steroids neveractually made muscle per se but it allowed near immediate recovery from amaximum work out. Thus a player couldget in several such sessions each week rather than a couple.
Now perhaps it will become easyto produce the muscle mass needed.
They have learned how to reprogramsomatic cells to be unattached stemcells, thus providing a complete range of options.
Canadian researchers first worldwide to generate pluripotent stem cellsfrom horses
Published: Monday, February 28, 2011 - 06:03 in Health & Medicine
In a world first, pluripotent stem cells have been generated fromhorses by a team of researchers led by Dr. Andras Nagy at the Samuel LunenfeldResearch Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital and Dr. Lawrence Smith at theUniversity of Montreal's Faculty of Veterinary Science. The findings will help enablenew stem-cell based regenerative therapies in veterinary medicine, and becausehorses' muscle and tendon systems are similar to our own, aid the developmentof preclinical models leading to human applications. The study was published inthe February 28 issue of the leading journal Stem Cell Reviews and Reports.These induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells can develop into most other celltypes and are a source of great hope for use in regenerative medicine and thedevelopment of new drugs to prevent and treat various illnesses. One aspect ofregenerative medicine is the process of creating living, functional tissues torepair or replace tissue or organ function lost due to damage or disease."To date, iPS cells have been established from several species, but ourstudy is the first to report the derivation of these changeable cells fromhorses," Dr. Smith explained.
The research represents a breakthrough for both human and animalhealth alike. "Equine iPS cells bring new therapeutic potential to theveterinary field, and open up the opportunity to validate stem-cell basedtherapies before clinical studies in humans," Dr. Nagy said. "Aswell, stem-cell based studies using the horse as a model more closely replicatehuman illnesses, when compared with studies in mice."
After two months of reprogramming equine somatic cells, the resultingiPS cell lines expressed hallmark markers of pluripotency, contained a correctset of horse chromosomes, and were able to form a full spectrum of cell typesand tissues fulfilling the criteria of pluripotency. The term pluripotencyrefers to the ability of a stem cell to become any of the vast number ofdifferent cell types found in the body. "This means that the cell linespassed all the tests available to us for determining if they truly are what wethink they are: pluripotent and a good source for future regenerativeapplications," said Kristina Nagy, research associate in the Nagylaboratory and lead author of the study.
"The horse is an excellent model for a range of human degenerativediseases, especially those involving joints, bones, tendons and ligaments, suchas arthritis," said Dr. Sheila Laverty, a professor in the Faculty ofVeterinary Medicine at the University of Montreal. "Bone fracture, as wellas damaged cartilage, tendons and ligaments heal poorly in horses. Therefore,the use of iPS cells in these animals may help enhance long-term tissuerepair." Further research will be required to develop clinical treatments.