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. 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.
Different Types of Stem Cells
There are many different categories of stem cells, this include allogenic, autologous and xenogenic. The analogenic stem cells are from a donor of the same 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 mean that it came from a similar animal. These type of cells are good for transplanting since there is no problem about them being rejected. The xenogenic stem cells come from a donor of another species, one example is 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?
The most common function of stem cells is their ability to differentiate into different tissues, but they also possess other abilities that can be useful 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. Some examples that can trigger stem cells are inflammation and hypoxia, the stem cells then target the injury. Stem cells only accounted less than half of the newly formed tissue, most of it are done by the recruited cells. This is the very reason why only a tiny injection of stem cells is needed. 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.
Applying 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 immediately injected in the area of ligament injury to trigger 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.