Isolation and characterization of bone marrow-derived equine mesenchymal stem cells
To isolate and characterize bone marrow-derived equine mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for possible future therapeutic applications in horses. Equine MSCs were isolated from bone marrow aspirates obtained from the sternum of 30 donor horses. Cells were cultured in medium (alpha-minimum essential medium) with a fetal calf serum content of 20%. Equine MSC features were analyzed to determine selfrenewing and differentiation capacity. For potential therapeutic applications, the migratory potential of equine MSCs was determined. An adenoviral vector was used to determine the transduction rate of equine MSCs. Equine MSCs can be culture-expanded. Equine MSCs undergo cryopreservation in liquid nitrogen without altering morphologic characteristics. Furthermore, equine MSCs maintain their ability to proliferate and differentiate after thawing. Immunocytochemically, the expression of the stem cell marker CD90 can be detected on equine MSCs. The multilineage differentiation potential of equine MSCs was revealed by their ability to undergo adipogenic, osteogenic, and chondrogenic differentiation. Our data indicate that bone marrow-derived stromal cells of horses can be characterized as MSCs. Equine MSCs have a high transduction rate and migratory potential and adapt to scaffold material in culture. As an autologous cell population, equine MSCs can be regarded as a promising cell population for tissue engineering in lesions of the musculoskeletal system in horses.