Lately, stem cells and stem cell therapy have received many news coverage and some of them are quite 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.
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. 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. Meanwhile, xenogenic stem cells refer to those that came from a donor of another species, for example a pig. One can expect that these type of cells are most likely to be rejected, however, there are cases when they survive in the body of another species because of their unique characteristics.
What are the Functions of the Stem Cells?
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.
The tissue signals the stem cells to go into an area based on the neural, mechanical and chemical changes in the body. Hypoxia or the lack of oxygen, and inflammation are strong triggers for stem cells to target an 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 has shown the most successful. It is quite difficult to heal the ligament injuries in a lower leg of a horse. 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. Furthermore, systemic stem cell therapy can be, in the future, treat neurological conditions.