GST Boehringer Ingelheim
    21 juni 2018

    CrossRoads2 project Artitera

    Osteoarthritis is a common, painful and progressive disease, which severely compromises the quality of life of both horses and humans.

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    Current treatments are mainly focused on relieving the symptoms associated with the disease, such as inflammation and pain. However, treatments which halt the progressive destruction of the articular cartilage or even reverse the sustained damage are lacking.

    Therefore, GST has performed research to develop a product containing mesenchymal stem cells which have been primed to form cartilage tissue. This priming ameliorates the attachment of the stem cells to the articular cartilage and reduces the risk to form inappropriate tissues compared to native stem cells. However, it is unknown if the priming has an influence on the stem cells’ capacity to modulate the inflammatory response of an animal. It has been demonstrated that native stem cells can suppress the proliferation of certain types of white blood cells under laboratory circumstances. This same test can be used for the primed stem cells and gives an indication of the capacity of the cells to suppress the inflammatory response in the animals itself.

    Therefore, during the project GST and its project partner Praktijk Dr. Suls BV will first be investigated if the primed stem cells incite white blood to proliferate under laboratory circumstances. Next, it will be examined if animals treated with the primed stem cells produce antibodies against the cells and if a cellular immune response is activated. If this project succeeds, it will possible to administer follow-up treatment to horses with non-septic joint inflammation (e.g. osteoarthritis), so these animals can be alleviated for a longer period of time. After all, although current medicinal practices are mainly focused on the elongation of the mean life expectancy, we must not forget that has to be possible in a comfortable way, for both horses and humans.