Am J Stem Cell 2013;2(1):62-73

Original Article
Effect of extracorporeal shock wave on proliferation and differentiation of equine
adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells in vitro

Raabe O, Shell K, Goessl A, Crispens C, Delhasse Y, Eva A, Scheiner-Bobis G, Wenisch S, Arnhold S

Institute of Veterinary -Anatomy, -Histology, and -Embryology, Justus-Liebig University of Giessen, Germany; Institute of Cardiovascular
Re-search and Sport Medicine, Department of Molecular and Cellular Sport Medicine, German Sport University Cologne, Germany;
Institute for Veterinary Physiology and Biochemistry, Justus-Liebig University of Giessen, Germany; Department of Veterinary Surgery,
Justus-Liebig University of Giessen, Germany. Raabe O. and Shell K. contributed equally to this work.

Received January 7, 2013; Accepted February 22, 2013; Epub March 8, 2013; Published March 18, 2013

Abstract: Mesenchymal stem cells are regarded as common cellular precursors of the musculoskeletal tissue and are responsible for
tissue regeneration in the course of musculoskeletal disorders. In equine veterinary medicine extracorporeal shock wave therapy
(ESWT) is used to optimize healing processes of bone, tendon and cartilage. Nevertheless, little is known about the effects of the shock
waves on cells and tissues. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the influence of focused ESWT on the viability, proliferation,
and differentiation capacity of adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ASCs) and to explore its effects on gap junctional
communication and the activation of signalling cascades associated with cell proliferation and differentiation. ASCs were treated with
different pulses of focused ESWT. Treated cells showed increased proliferation and expression of Cx43, as detected by means of qRT-
PCR, histological staining, immunocytochemistry and western blot. At the same time, cells responded to ESWT by significant activation
(phosphorylation) of Erk1/2, detected in western blots. No significant effects on the differentiation potential of the ASCs were evident.
Taken together, the present results show significant effects of shock waves on stem cells in vitro. (AJSC1301001).

Keywords: Horse, shock wave, stem cell, proliferation, differentiation

Address correspondence to: Dr. Stefan Arnhold, Institute of Veterinary -Anatomy, -Histology and –Embryology, Justus-Liebig University
of Giessen, Frankfurterstrasse 98, 35392 Giessen, Germany. E-mail:
AJSC Copyright © 2011-present. All rights reserved. Published by e-Century Publishing Corporation, Madison, WI 53711, USA