Fetal Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Farm Animals: Applications in Health and Production
Fetal stem cells derived from amniotic fluid, amnion, umbilical cord, and fetal fibroblast have provided new insights regarding the nature and potential of these cells and can be an alternative source of stem cells in livestock, as scientifically validated embryonic stem (ES) cell lines are yet not available in these species. In this review we shall state the art, envision, and the prospects of fetal mesenchymal stem cells in livestock and their application in assisted reproduction and in veterinary medicine. Fetal stem cells express pluripotency markers and share similar growth kinetics providing strong support to the notion that these cells may be biologically closer to embryonic stem cells. The placenta and fetal adnexa, such as umbilical cord blood, umbilical cord matrix, amnion, amniotic fluid (AF) and fetal fibroblasts are immensely valuable and easily accessible sources of pluripotent and progenitor cells. These cells represent the intermediate between ES and adult stem cells regarding proliferation rates and plasticity features. These cells can be used in assisted reproduction and veterinary health applications. General applications include veterinary regenerative medicine and as donor cells for cloning and transgenic and iPS cell production. In equines, these cells can be used for orthopedic injuries, including repair of damaged ligaments and tendons and for laminitis. In domestic livestock, these can be used for producing environment-friendly transgenic animals for less methane or phosphorus production and in vitro meat production. Specific application of stem cells in canine can be in spinal injuries and diabetes.
KeywordsUmbilical Cord Blood Adult Stem Cell Amniotic Membrane Stem Cell Research Fetal Fibroblast
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