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. Before we proceed to stem cell therapy, we must first understand stem cell itself. 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.
Types of Stem Cells
There are many different categories of stem cells, 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. Xenogenic stem cells are those that derived from a donor of another species, for instance a pig. Despite that is it expected that these type of cells are to be rejected when injected into another species’ body, there are some cases in which they survive because they have a certain unique characteristics.
How Do Stem Cells Function?
Stem cells have the ability to differentiate into different tissues, as well as the ability that are beneficial for healing. Stem cells have the ability to recruit other local and systemic stem cells help focus on fixing damaged tissue.
If there are any chemical, mechanical and neural changes, the tissue then sends signal that can trigger the stem cells to move into an area. 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 reason why only small injections of stem cells are used. Injecting a large number of stem cells into an injured are can intervene with healing, because some of the injected cells die and must be removed during the process of healing.
Using Stem Cell Therapy in Horses
The repair of ligament injuries in horses has shown the most successful. It is quite difficult to heal the ligament injuries in a lower leg of a horse. The stem cells from the own fat of the injured horse can be used to stimulate the healing and start the process with less scarring.
Stem cell therapy proved to have a huge potential and can used to treat injuries of organ damage. Additionally, systemic stem cell therapy has the potential to be use in treating neurological conditions.