Collection, processing, freezing of equine bone marrow cells
Using cell therapy is now a common practice in most equine clinics, mostly for musculoskeletal disorders such as tendonitis and laminitis. This therapy has also been shown to be useful when treating respiratory diseases. Because of their anti-inflammatory and microbicidal effects, bone marrow mononuclear cells (BMMCs) are extensively used. Other advantages are the lower risk of immunological reactions and the shorter processing time.
Depending on the species and diseases treated, the number of cells needed for treatment varies. However, in horses there are no studies showing the amount of cells that can be obtained from large bone marrow samples. There are also no conclusive studies about the ideal puncture location - sternum or ilium.
Overall, three different experiments are performed. The first one studies the feasibility of collecting 200mL from the sternum of horses, the second one looks at the number of cells obtained from the first and the last syringe of each puncture, and the third one examines the effects of heparin concentration on the prevention of cell coagulation, plus cell viability after freezing.
Sample collection from the iliac crest can be difficult and does not allow big volumes to be collected. The sternum is a better source, although it can be a risky location because of the heart. The study shows that the collection procedure is safe and larger volumes (such as 200mL) of bone marrow can be collected without being a health risk to the animals. Also, large volume of bone marrow collected with only a few punctures can be beneficial for the patient.
This study demonstrates the possibility to collect large amounts of equine bone marrow even in middle-aged and advanced-aged equines. It also shows that the heparin concentrations do not influence the isolation of BMMCs. Finally, it is shown that even though cryopreservation reduces cells viability, they stay feasible and useful in equine clinics.
> From: Bastos et al., Cyobiology 78 (2017) 95-100. All rights reserved to 2017 Elsevier Inc.. Click here for the online summary.