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In recent years, extracellular vesicles (EVs) have emerged as prominent mediators of the homeostasis, repair, and regeneration of musculoskeletal tissues including bone, skeletal muscle, and cartilage. Accordingly, the therapeutic potential of EVs for regenerative medicine applications has not gone unnoticed. The use of EVs for the treatment of musculoskeletal injury and disease in veterinary species is a nascent but rapidly expanding area of research. Recent studies in this area have demonstrated the safety and feasibility of EV products in dogs and horses. While early clinical responses to EV-based therapeutics in companion animals have been favorable, more rigorously designed, sufficiently powered, and placebo-controlled clinical trials are required to fully elucidate the clinical benefits and best-use scenarios for EV therapeutics in veterinary medicine. Additionally, clinical translation of EV-based therapeutics will require Good Manufacturing Practice–compliant methods to scale up and purify EV products. Despite these challenges, EVs hold great promise in the regenerative medicine landscape, particularly in the treatment of musculoskeletal injury and disease in companion animals.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association