Clinical application of mesenchymal stem cells therapy in musculoskeletal injuries in dogs—a review of the scientific literature

  • Inês E. Dias
  • Diogo F. Cardoso
  • Carla S. Soares
  • Luís C. Barros
  • Carlos A. Viegas
  • Pedro P. Carvalho
  • Isabel R. Dias
Keywords: Bone fractures, Cruciate ligament rupture, Osteoarthritis, Semitendinosus myopathy, Supraspinatus tendinopathy.


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent, which is defined by their ability to self-renew while maintaining the capacity to differentiate into a certain number of cells, presumably from their own germinal layer. MSCs therapy is based on their anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory (immunosuppressive), and regenerative potential. This review aims to provide a clinical overview of the MSCs potential as a therapeutic option for orthopedic diseases in dogs. A total of 25 clinical studies published in the scientific literature in the last 15 years on various diseases will be presented: semitendinosus myopathy, supraspinatus tendinopathy, cruciate ligament rupture, bone fractures and defects, and also osteoarthritis (OA). All articles involved in this study include only diseases that have naturally occurred in canine patients. MSCs therapy in the veterinary orthopedic field has great potential, especially for OA. All studies presented
promising results. However, MSCs bone healing capacity did not reveal such favorable outcomes in the long term. Besides, most of these clinical studies did not include immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, and histopathology to confirm that MSCs have differentiated and incorporated into the injured tissues. This review summarizes the current knowledge of canine MSCs biology, immunology, and clinical application in canine orthopedic diseases. Despite the positive results in its use, there is still a lack of defined protocols, heterogeneous samples, and concomitant medications used with MSCs therapy compromising therapeutic effects. Further studies are needed in the hope of overcoming its limitation in upcoming trials.



Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2218-6050
print ISSN: 2226-4485