Allogenic synovia-derived mesenchymal stem cells for treatment of equine tendinopathies and desmopathies — proof of concept

Inês Leal Reis, Bruna Lopes, Patrícia Sousa, Ana Catarina Sousa, Mariana Branquinho, Ana Rita Caseiro, Sílvia Santos Pedrosa, Alexandra Rêma, Cláudia Oliveira, Beatriz Porto, Luís Atayde, Irina Amorim, Rui Alvites, Jorge Miguel Santos, Ana Colette Maurício*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Tendon and ligament injuries are frequent in sport horses and humans, and such injuries represent a significant therapeutic challenge. Tissue regeneration and function recovery are the paramount goals of tendon and ligament lesion management. Nowadays, several regenerative treatments are being developed, based on the use of stem cell and stem cell-based therapies. In the present study, the preparation of equine synovial membrane mesenchymal stem cells (eSM-MSCs) is described for clinical use, collection, transport, isolation, differentiation, characterization, and application. These cells are fibroblast-like and grow in clusters. They retain osteogenic, chondrogenic, and adipogenic differentiation potential. We present 16 clinical cases of tendonitis and desmitis, treated with allogenic eSM-MSCs and autologous serum, and we also include their evaluation, treatment, and follow-up. The concerns associated with the use of autologous serum as a vehicle are related to a reduced immunogenic response after the administration of this therapeutic combination, as well as the pro-regenerative effects from the growth factors and immunoglobulins that are part of its constitution. Most of the cases (14/16) healed in 30 days and presented good outcomes. Treatment of tendon and ligament lesions with a mixture of eSM-MSCs and autologous serum appears to be a promising clinical option for this category of lesions in equine patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1312
Number of pages28
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2023


  • Allogenic
  • Cell-based therapies
  • Clinical trials
  • Ligament
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Sport horses
  • Synovial mesenchymal stem cell
  • Tendon


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