Foals' umbilical cords can be banked for future stem-cell treatments

Mar 09, 2011

Horse owners now have the opportunity to collect umbilical cord tissue immediately after a foal is born and save it as a future source of therapeutic stem cells through the Regenerative Medicine Laboratory at UC Davis’ School of Veterinary Medicine.

The laboratory provides kits that enable the horse’s owner or veterinarian to easily collect the umbilical cord tissue and send it to the UC Davis laboratory, where it will be minimally processed. One dose of will be sent back to the horse owner’s veterinarian, and another sample will be frozen and stored for as long as four years.

If the horse should later need stem cell therapy to treat an injury or the effects of disease, the tissue sample can be retrieved from the frozen archive and treated to encourage growth of the stem cells. Within just two weeks, sufficient cells would be available for a treatment. The method is modeled after procedures currently used in human medicine to collect and bank babies’ cord blood for potential use in cell-based therapies.

“The advantage is that, unlike collecting stem cells derived from bone marrow or fat, banking doesn’t require the horse to undergo a traumatic or invasive procedure,” said Sean Owens, medical director of the Laboratory.

He also noted that each cord tissue sample could be expanded as needed, such as at the beginning of rigorous training, so that cell doses could be ready for injection within a few days of an injury.

The cost for the collection kit and four years of storage is $1,625.

Explore further: Elucidating extremophilic 'microbial dark matter'

More information: More information or cord-tissue collection kits may be obtained from the Regenerative Medicine Laboratory at (530) 754-0400 or regenlab@ucdavis.edu

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Stem cell research to benefit horse owners and trainers

Oct 21, 2008

In a potential breakthrough for the performance horse industry (such as racing and polo), Melbourne scientists are aiming to harness stem cells to repair tendon, ligament, cartilage and bone damage in horses.

Umbilical cord cells may treat arthritis

Nov 15, 2010

Umbilical cord stem cells may be useful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Animal and in vitro experiments, described in BioMed Central's open access journal Arthritis Research and Therapy, have shown that mesenc ...

Damaged spinal cord tissue repaired by stem cells

Oct 08, 2010

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have shown how stem cells, together with other cells, repair damaged tissue in the mouse spinal cord. The results are of potential significance to the development of therapies for spinal ...

Recommended for you

For legume plants, a new route from shoot to root

Sep 19, 2014

A new study shows that legume plants regulate their symbiotic relationship with soil bacteria by using cytokinins—signaling molecules— that are transmitted through the plant structure from leaves into ...

Controlling the transition between generations

Sep 18, 2014

Rafal Ciosk and his group at the FMI have identified an important regulator of the transition from germ cell to embryonic cell. LIN-41 prevents the premature onset of embryonic transcription in oocytes poised ...

User comments : 0