Jul 7, 2023

What Are Stem Cells and Where Do They Come From?

Posted by Bob under Stem Cells

All of us have heard the term “stem cells” and most of us have some basic understanding of what that means. Stem cells are often referred to as the building blocks of life. Thus, when it comes to stem cells, many people think of embryonic stem cells. But when we talk about VetStem Cell Therapy, we’re actually talking about adult stem cells.

Adult Stem Cells vs. Embryonic Stem Cells

There are several differences between embryonic and adult stem cells. Embryonic stem cells serve one purpose: to form whole organs and organisms. They are truly the “building blocks of life.” Embryonic stem cells exist only at the earliest stages of development, and they are pluripotent, meaning they can differentiate into any cell type.

Adult stem cells on the other hand include multiple types of stem cells that are present in almost all tissues of the adult body. They can be multipotent or unipotent, meaning they can only differentiate into one type of cell. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent adult stem cells that have demonstrated the ability to differentiate into multiple cell types including tendon, ligament, bone, cartilage, cardiac, nerve, muscle, blood vessels, fat, and liver tissue.

Adult Stem Cells Mechanisms of Action

Adult stem cells are utilized by the body to replenish dying cells and to repair damaged tissues. This discovery led to multiple studies to help determine the full therapeutic benefits of adult stem cells. VetStem uses adult MSCs in an effort to repair damaged tissues in animals with various injuries and diseases. But this is not the only mechanism of action that stem cells utilize in the healing process. Stem cells have also been shown to down-regulate inflammation, reduce pain, and modulate the immune system. All of these mechanisms, and more that we’re still learning about, make stem cell therapy a multimodal approach to healing.

Ideal Source of Adult Stem Cells

When used for VetStem Cell Therapy, adult MSCs are extracted from fat tissue, one of the richest sources of MSCs in the body. Fat tissue is also relatively easy to collect during a simple anesthetic procedure similar to a spay. Most animals recover quickly and uneventfully from the procedure, compared to more painful and invasive stem cell collection techniques. Additionally, fat is generally abundant in the body, even in skinny animals, making it an ideal source of stem cells.

If you think your pet may benefit from VetStem Cell Therapy, contact us to receive a list of providers in your area.