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Blood derived stem cells: An ameliorative therapy in veterinary ophthalmology

Authors

  • Gabriella Marfe,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Sciences, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Via Montpellier 1, Rome, Italy
    • Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Sciences, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Via Montpellier 1, Rome 00133, Italy.
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  • Mina Massaro-Giordano,

    1. Scheie Eye Institute, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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  • Marco Ranalli,

    1. Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Sciences, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Via Montpellier 1, Rome, Italy
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  • Eliana Cozzoli,

    1. Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Sciences, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Via Montpellier 1, Rome, Italy
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  • Carla Di Stefano,

    1. Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Sciences, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Via Montpellier 1, Rome, Italy
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  • Valentina Malafoglia,

    1. Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, Center for Biotechnology, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    2. Human Health Foundation, Spoleto-Terni, Italy
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  • Marco Polettini,

    1. Rome, Italy
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    • Private practice Veterinary Physician, Sutri (Viterbo).

  • Alessandra Gambacurta

    1. Department of Experimental Medicine and Biochemical Sciences, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Via Montpellier 1, Rome, Italy
    2. NAST, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Via della Ricerca Scientifica, Rome, Italy
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  • Conflict of interest: The authors Marco Polettini and Alessandra Gambacurta declare competing financial interests (Patent n8 07 820 1340-1222).

Abstract

Stem cell technology has evoked considerable excitement among people interested in the welfare of animals, as it has suggested the potential availability of new tools for several pathologies, including eye disease, which in many cases is considered incurable. One such example is ulcerative keratitis, which is very frequent in horses. Because some of these corneal ulcers can be very severe, progress rapidly and, therefore, can be a possible cause of vision loss, it is important to diagnose them at an early stage and administer an appropriate treatment, which can be medical, surgical, or a combination of both. The therapeutic strategy should eradicate the infection in order to reduce or stop destruction of the cornea. In addition, it should support the corneal structures and control the uveal reaction, and the pain associated with it, in order to minimize scarring. In this study, we address how stem cells derived from peripheral blood can be used also in ophthalmological pathologies. Our results demonstrate that this treatment protocol improved eye disease in four horse cases, including corneal ulcers and one case of retinal detachment. In all cases, we detected a decrease in the intense inflammatory reaction as well as the restoration of the epithelial surface of the central cornea. J. Cell. Physiol. 227: 1250–1256, 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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