• Umbilical cord-derived matrix cells;
  • Umbilical cord;
  • Stem cells;
  • Equine;
  • Epidermal growth factor


Stem cells from extra-embryonic sources can be obtained by non-invasive procedures. We have standardized a method for the expansion of equine umbilical cord-derived matrix cells (EUCMCs) for potential therapy.

EUCMCs were isolated from the umbilical cord of five mares immediately after delivery. For expansion, cells were grown in α-MEM and MSCBM. Moreover, to measure the effect of growth factor supplementation, epidermal growth factor (EGF) was added to α-MEM.

α-MEM and MSCBM media performed similarly in terms of population doubling and CFU number value. EGF supplementation of α-MEM determined a significant increase of the population doubling value. EGF supplementation did not affect the adipogenic and chondrogenic differentiation while bone nodule sizes an increased with the osteogenic protocol.

Both α-MEM and MSCBM can be used to cultivate EUCMCs. α-MEM supplemented with EGF might represent an advantage for EUCMCs expansion. The results could be useful in choosing the culture medium since α-MEM is more cost-effective than MSCBM.