Characterization and differentiation of equine tendon-derived progenitor cells.

A. B. Lovati, B. Corradetti, A. Lange Consiglio, C. Recordati, E. Bonacina, D. Bizzaro, F. Cremonesi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Mesenchymal stem cells have been recently investigated for their potential use in regenerative medicine. Population of adult stem cells were recently identified in human and lab animal tendons, but no detailed investigations have been made in the equine species. The aim of our study is to identify a progenitor cell population from tendon tissue (TSPCs) in the horse superficial digital flexor tendon that are able to be highly clonogenic, to grow fast and to differentiate in different induced cell lineages as well as bone marrow derived progenitor cells (BM-MSCs). The hypothesis that TSPCs possess a mesenchymal stem cell behavior opens a new prospective for tendon regenerative medicine approaches. TSPCs were expanded more rapidly and showed higher plating efficiency when compared with BM-MSCs. Both cell lines expressed identical stem cell markers in vitro and they were able to differentiate towards osteogenic and adipogenic lineages as demonstrated with cytochemical staining and mRNA gene expression. TSPCs showed a positive but limited chondrogenic differentiation compared with BM-MSCs as demonstrated by histological and biochemical analyses. According to our results, equine TSPCs have high clonogenic properties and proliferating potential, they express stem cell markers and have the capability to be multipotent as well as BM-MSCs. These findings suggest that TSPCs may represent a good model for stem cell biology and could be useful for future tendon regenerative medicine investigations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of biological regulators and homeostatic agents
Issue number2 Suppl
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Physiology
  • Immunology
  • Oncology
  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cancer Research


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