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  • Author or Editor: Drew W. Koch x
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Abstract

Tendon injuries are common in both veterinary and human clinical patients and result in morbidity, pain, and lost athletic performance. Consequently, utilizing naturally occurring injuries in veterinary patients as a comparative model could inform the development of novel therapies and increase translation for the treatment of human tendon injuries. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have shown considerable efficacy for the treatment of experimental and clinical superficial digital flexor tendon injury in the horse; however, the reinjury rate following treatment can remain high and MSC efficacy in treating other tendons is less well known. Additionally, the translation of MSC therapy to human tendon injury has remained poor. Recent evidence indicates that naïve MSC function can be enhanced through exogenous stimulation or manipulation of their environment. This stimulation or activation, herein termed MSC licensing, markedly alters MSC functions associated with immunomodulation, extracellular matrix remodeling, vascular development, bioactive factor production, and endogenous stromal/progenitor cell support. Additionally, a variety of licensing strategies has proven to influence MSC-secreted factors that have positively influenced outcome parameters in both in vitro and in vivo disease models separate from musculoskeletal tissues. Therefore, identifying the optimal licensing strategy for MSCs could ultimately provide an avenue for reliable and repeatable treatment of a broad range of tendon injuries of both veterinary and human clinical patients. This article details current evidence on the effects of licensed MSCs in both in vitro and in vivo disease models of different species and provides commentary on how those effector functions identified may be translated to the treatment of tendon injuries.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

The purpose of this manuscript, which is part of the Currents in One Health series, is to take a comparative approach to stem cell treatment for tendon injury and consider how the horse might inform treatment in other veterinary species and humans. There is increasing experimental and clinical evidence for the use of bone marrow–derived mesenchymal stem cells to treat tendon injuries in the horse. The same evidence does not currently exist for other species. This manuscript will review why the equine superficial digital flexor tendon core lesion might be considered optimal for stem cell delivery and stem cell interaction with the injury environment and will also introduce the concept of stem cell licensing for future evaluation. The companion Currents in One Health by Koch and Schnabel, AJVR, October 2023, addresses in detail what is known about stem cell licensing for the treatment of other diseases using rodent models and how this information can potentially be applied to tendon healing.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Limb lymphedema in horses can be debilitating and painful. Pneumatic compression therapy has shown significant benefits for people suffering from lymphedema. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of a novel, equine-specific pneumatic compression device on the lymphatic flow of healthy horse forelimbs as determined by Tc-99m sulfur colloid lymphoscintigraphy.

ANIMALS

6 healthy Thoroughbreds.

PROCEDURES

In a randomized crossover design, horses underwent bilateral forelimb lymphoscintigraphy following subcutaneous injection of Tc-99m sulfur colloid at the coronary band as untreated control or with pneumatic compression therapy using the EQ Press. Lateral, static images were obtained of the distal limb (time 0 to 60 minutes) and proximal limb (time 30 to 60 minutes) using a standard gamma camera. Lymphatic flow was determined by assigning a score to the time point at which Tc-99m sulfur colloid was first visualized at the level of the accessory carpal bone (1 to 7) in the distal limb and the cubital lymph node (1 to 4) in the proximal limb.

RESULTS

EQ Press treatment led to a significantly faster lymphatic flow of Tc-99m sulfur colloid to the predetermined anatomic locations of the accessory carpal bone (P = .002) in the distal limb and the cubital lymph node (P = .001) in the proximal limb.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Pneumatic compression therapy as provided by an equine-specific device encouraged lymphatic flow in healthy, nonedematous equine forelimbs. These data support further study of the EQ Press for pneumatic compression therapy in horses clinically affected by lymphedema and lymphatic drainage disorders.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To report the clinical outcomes of horses with chronic guttural pouch infection characterized by accumulation of mucopurulent material following transpharyngeal diode laser fenestration.

ANIMALS

13 client-owned horses

PROCEDURES

Horses undergoing diode laser fenestration for chronic guttural pouch infection were identified by medical record search. Signalment, disease history, presence of mucopurulent empyema or chondroids, and pre- and postoperative therapy were recorded. Owners were contacted for follow-up information at a minimum of 6 months following surgery.

RESULTS

13 horses underwent laser fenestration for chronic guttural pouch infection. Thirteen had mucopurulent nasal discharge on presentation, and 3 were coughing. At follow-up, 12 horses treated with transpharyngeal diode laser fenestration had complete resolution of nasal discharge and coughing. One horse, despite resolution of guttural pouch infection on endoscopy, continued to have nasal discharge and coughing attributed to concurrent equine asthma syndrome. All owners expressed satisfaction with the surgical procedure and clinical resolution of guttural pouch infection.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

This surgical technique for transpharyngeal diode laser fenestration of the guttural pouch was uncomplicated to perform and well tolerated in sedated horses and attributed to resolution of clinical signs associated with guttural pouch infection, and owners reported a high satisfaction with the clinical outcome. Implementing this surgical technique could be considered to hasten resolution of chronic guttural pouch disease in horses with few technique-related complications.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

The study objectives were to 1) determine the mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) surface expression of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I and transcriptome-wide gene expression changes following IL-1β + TGF-β2 dual licensing and 2) evaluate if IL-1β + TGF-β2 dual-licensed MSCs had a greater ability to positively modulate tenocyte function compared to naive MSCs.

SAMPLE

Equine bone marrow–derived MSCs from 6 donors and equine superficial digital flexor tenocytes from 3 donors.

METHODS

Experiments were performed in vitro. Flow cytometry and bulk RNA sequencing were utilized to determine naive and dual-licensed MSC phenotype and transcriptome-wide changes in gene expression. Conditioned media were generated from MSCs and utilized in tenocyte cell culture assays as a method to determine the effect of MSC paracrine factors on tenocyte function.

RESULTS

Dual-licensed MSCs have a reduced expression of MHC class I and exhibit enrichment in functional pathways associated with the extracellular matrix, cell signaling, and tissue development. Additionally, dual-licensed MSC-conditioned media significantly improved in vitro tenocyte migration and metabolism to a greater degree than naive MSC-conditioned media. In tenocytes exposed to IL-1β, dual-licensed conditioned media also positively modulated tenocyte gene expression.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Our data indicate that conditioned media containing paracrine factors secreted from dual-licensed MSCs significantly modulates in vitro tenocyte function, which may confer benefits in vivo to healing tendons following injury. Additionally, due to reduced MHC class I expression in dual-licensed MSCs, this technique may also provide an avenue to provide an effective “off-the-shelf” allogenic source of MSCs.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

The objective of this study was to characterize extracellular vesicles (EVs) in plasma and synovial fluid obtained from horses with and without naturally occurring post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA).

ANIMALS

EVs were isolated from plasma and synovial fluid from horses with (n = 6) and without (n = 6) PTOA.

METHODS

Plasma and synovial fluid EVs were characterized with respect to quantity, size, and surface markers. Small RNA sequencing was performed, and differentially expressed microRNAs (miRNAs) underwent bioinformatic analysis to identify putative targets and to explore potential associations with specific biological processes.

RESULTS

Plasma and synovial fluid samples from horses with PTOA had a significantly higher proportion of exosomes and a lower proportion of microvesicles compared to horses without PTOA. Small RNA sequencing revealed several differentially expressed miRNAs, including miR-144, miR-219-3p, and miR-199a-3l in plasma and miR-199a-3p, miR-214, and miR-9094 in synovial fluid EVs. Bioinformatics analysis of the differentially expressed miRNAs highlighted their potential role in fibrosis, differentiation of chondrocytes, apoptosis, and inflammation pathways in PTOA.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

We have identified dynamic molecular changes in the small noncoding signatures of plasma and synovial fluid EVs in horses with naturally occurring PTOA. These findings could serve to identify promising biomarkers in the pathogenesis of PTOA, to facilitate the development of targeted therapies, and to aid in establishing appropriate translational models of PTOA.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association