OBJECTIVE To assess the ability to regenerate an equine meniscus by use of a collagen repair patch (scaffold) seeded with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) derived from bone marrow (BM) or adipose tissue (AT).
SAMPLE 6 female Hispano-Breton horses between 4 and 7 years of age; MSCs from BM and AT were obtained for the in vitro experiment, and the horses were subsequently used for the in vivo experiment.
PROCEDURES Similarities and differences between MSCs derived from BM or AT were investigated in vitro by use of cell culture. In vivo assessment involved use of a meniscus defect and implantation on a scaffold. Horses were allocated into 2 groups. In one group, defects in the medial meniscus were treated with MSCs derived from BM, whereas in the other group, defects were treated with MSCs derived from AT. Defects were created in the contralateral stifle joint but were not treated (control samples).
RESULTS Both types of MSCs had universal stem cell characteristics. For in vivo testing, at 12 months after treatment, treated defects were regenerated with fibrocartilaginous tissue, whereas untreated defects were partially repaired or not repaired.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that MSCs derived from AT could be a good alternative to MSCs derived from BM for use in regenerative treatments. Results also were promising for a stem cell-based implant for use in regeneration in meniscal lesions.
IMPACT FOR HUMAN MEDICINE Because of similarities in joint disease between horses and humans, these results could have applications in humans.