Canadian scientists have produced the first induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from a horse. The cells show all the typical characteristics of pluripotent stem cells, including the formation of tumors in immuno-compromised mice.
The scientists note that the availability of horse iPS cells should help with modeling veterinary treatments in the lab. And according to Dr. Sheila Laverty at the University of Montreal:
“The horse is an excellent model for a range of human degenerative diseases, especially those involving joints, bones, tendons and ligaments, such as arthritis.”
Of course, in that respect adult stem cells are already treating horses for those conditions, repairing tissue damage and even restoring horses to winning health. Adult stem cells are the Secretariat of the stem cell world, racing far ahead of embryonic-type stem cells to cross the finish line many lengths in front.
The new study is published in Stem Cell Reviews and Reports.