Equine Veterinarians Australia - Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-

Equine osteoarthritis (OA) leads to cartilage degradation with impaired animal well-being, premature cessation of sport activity, and financial losses.

Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-based therapies are promising for cartilage repair, but face limitations inherent to the cell itself. Soluble mediators and extracellular vesicles (EVs) secreted by MSCs are the alternatives to overcome those limitations while preserving MSC restorative properties. The effect of equine bone marrow MSC secretome on equine articular chondrocytes (eACs) was analyzed with indirect co-culture and/or MSC-conditioned media (CM). The expression of healthy cartilage/OA and proliferation markers was evaluated in eACs (monolayers or organoids). In vitro repair experiments with MSC-CM were made to evaluate the proliferation and migration of eACs. The presence of nanosized EVs in MSC-CM was appraised with nanoparticle tracking assay and transmission electron microscopy.
Our results demonstrated that the MSC secretome influences eAC phenotype by increasing cartilage functionality markers and cell migration in a greater way than MSCs, which could delay OA final outcomes. This study makes acellular therapy an appealing strategy to improve equine OA treatments.
However, the MSC secretome contains a wide variety of soluble mediators and small EVs, such as exosomes, and further investigation must be performed to understand the mechanisms occurring behind these promising effects.