Researchers have sought to use transplanted stem cells for many regenerative purposes from using them to regenerate neural cells following stroke or spinal cord injuries, to using stem cells to help regenerate failing or injured organs.
Deer antler is of interest, said the researchers, "because antlers are very peculiar organs in that they are lost and re-grown annually.a rare example of a completely regenerating organ in mammals."
According to the researchers, they subjected deer antler to differentiation assays for osteogenic (bone), adipogenic (fat) and chondrogenic (cartilage) lineages under culture conditions specific for each lineage to confirm the multi-lineage differentiation ability of antler multipotent stem cells. They concluded that deer antler tissue might be a "valuable source of stem cells" that could "be a potentially useful source of regenerative therapeutics in veterinary science."
The researchers noted that the development of deer-specific antibodies "is essential to confirm the identification of antler multipotent stem cells".
They specifically noted that injury to wild animals, including deer, might be treated using deer antler derived cells. They also pointed out that studies involving the use of horse stem cells have found clinical application of equine-derived stem cells.
"Deer-vehicle collision is frequent, inducing bone fracture," they wrote. "Antler multipotent stem cells could be used for therapeutic application for wild animal treatments and tissue engineering."
"This study highlights a novel source of stem cells for use in veterinary reparative therapies for wild animals" said Dr. Alison Willing, Professor at the Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair, University of South Florida. "Future studies of these cells will allow their full potential as a therapy to be discerned."
|Contact: Robert Miranda|
Cell Transplantation Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair