The research is being conducted by Dr Alix Bergman at North Carolina State University through the Morris Animal Foundation. In conjunction with the work of Drs. Lauren Schnabel and Matthew Fisher, Bergman’s research is focused on “developing new culture techniques that will help stem cells avoid detection by the immune system, thereby allowing for safe and efficacious therapy in horses using donor stem cells.”
Ideally, stem cell therapy should be administered as soon as possible following the time of injury or identification of the initial signs of disease, but since donor cells can be killed by the recipient horse’s immune system if perceived as foreign, the use of this promising treatment is currently limite
“Stem cell therapies have the potential to improve the outcome of severe and potentially life-ending musculoskeletal diseases in horses, including those of the distal limb and foot,” said Bergman, a Morris Animal Foundation Fellow.
“In particular, stem cells have shown promise for the treatment of deep digital flexor tendon lesions associated with navicular syndrome and for the treatment of laminitis.”