Equine Veterinary Journal Early View June 2016


Heather Ferguson


Influence of commonly used pharmaceutical agents on equine bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cell viability


Edmonds, R.E., Garvican, E.R., Smith, R.K.W. and Dudhia, J.



Bone marrow derived stem cells (3 horses) and tendon derived somatic cells (2 horses) were resuspended in media containing various commonly used drugs at clinically relevant concentrations and cell viability and cell proliferation were assessed.


At the start of the study mean cell viability was 95%. Exposure to romifidine or mepivacaine did not significantly affect viability or proliferation. At the highest concentration of detomidine and butorphanol, stem cell viability was significantly reduced compared with controls. Although xylazine exposure caused a significant, dose-dependent reduction in stem cell viability compared with controls, overall population viability remained good. Mepivicaine, romifidine, butorphanol and detomidine had no effect on stem cell proliferation.


Both corticosteroid formulations tested (methylprednisolone and triamcinolone) significantly reduced viability at all doses. Methylprednisolone especially caused rapid stem cell death with no live cells observed after 1 hour in high dose suspension. Both corticosteroids caused a dose-dependent reduction in viability differentiated tendon derived cells.



Bottom line:


These are in vitro results but they do raise concern about the concurrent use of corticosteroids and stem cell therapy. The study also suggests corticosteroid administration into the sheath of a damaged tendon cannot be recommended.




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