The Equine Mesenchymal Stem Cell Secretome as a Potential Therapeutic for Neurologic Injury and Disease in Horses
Principal Investigator: Gerlinde Van de Walle
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant):
Equine veterinary medicine is currently in great need of improved treatment options for horses with acute injury to the brain and spinal cord. The mediocre reparative capabilities of the brain and spinal cord, coupled with the obvious safety concerns surrounding a large animal with any degree of mental impairment, gives neurologic horses unacceptably poor prognoses for return to function, or more often, for life at all. Recent studies in human medicine have suggested that stem cell therapy can improve brain and spinal cord repair and offer hope for debilitating neurological disorders. It is thought that stem cells exert their beneficial effects by secreting bioactive factors, collectively termed ‘the secretome’, into their environment. The pro-regenerative and anti-inflammatory properties of the stem cell secretome have attracted attention as a potential therapeutic for neurologic disorders in human patients. The proposed study aims to investigate the value of stem cell therapy for equine neurologic injury.