Jiajie Jessica Xu, Amanda-Jo Joswig, Ashlee Watts
Comparative Orthopedics and Regenerative Medicine Lab, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University
Merial Veterinary Scholars Program and the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University
Link Equine Research Endowment
Stemness and the Post-Injection Response of the Equine Joint to MSC Injection
A mesynchymal stem cell (MSC)’s ability to undergo trilineage differentiation into osteoblasts, adipocytes, and chondroblasts in vitro is one of the defining characteristics of MSC stemness. This quality allows MSCs to be used as a source of cells in tissue engineering and cell therapy. In addition to cellular differentiation, MSCs also play a role in modulating inflammatory responses by releasing anti-inflammatory factors during tissue repair. Though traditional stemness has been associated with effective tissue repair, the relationship between MSC stemness and immunomodulatory function is unknown. To study this, bone marrow derived MSCs were collected from 6 horses, and injected autologously. The same MSCs were also injected allogeneically into 6 separate horses. Joint fluid cytologic analysis was performed on injected joints to assess the inflammatory response. Stem cells from the donor horses were then cultured in vitro and tested for their ability to undergo trilineage differentiation using visual grading systems. By comparing MSC inflammatory response with stemness qualities, this study re-examines the criteria of what it means to be an effective stem cell.