Constant advances in medicine, both human and veterinary, lead to continuous discovery of new drugs and treatments. Recently, the aspect of stem cell use in regenerative medicine has been very popular. There are still too few clinical trials on animals that could precisely estimate the therapeutic efficacy of cell therapy. However, stem cells are a source of extraordinary potential for multiplication and differentiation which, if used properly, can prove to be an effective mean of treatment of numerous diseases that are currently considered untreatable. The purpose of review is the characterization and clinical use of stem cells in mostly occurring diseases. Particular attention has been given to the issue of mesenchymal stromal cells, which so far have been most widely used in clinical practice. Current research into stem cells has allowed scientists to discover many different types of these cells, describe their characteristics and divide them into groups, with the most important being embryonic stem cells and somatic (adult) stem cells. Adult stem cells, due to their availability and lack of ethical problems, are used in veterinary practice. Different types of mesenchymal stem cells are distinguished, based on their origin. Adipose tissue derived stem cells and stromal vascular fraction find the widest clinical application. In veterinary medicine, stem cells therapies are most commonly used in the case of horse orthopedic injuries and in diseases of various origin in dogs and cats. While further research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of cell therapies, they have much potential to find plenty of potential applications in future medicine.
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