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Open Access Rabbit Trochlear Model of Osteochondral Allograft Transplantation

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Abstract:

Allografting and autografting of osteochondral tissues is a promising strategy to treat articular cartilage lesions in damaged joints. We developed a new model of fresh osteochondral allografting using the entire rabbit trochlea. The objective of the current study was to demonstrate that this model would achieve reproducible graft–host healing and maintain normal articular cartilage histologic, immunolocalization, and biochemical characteristics after transplantation under diverse storage and transplantation conditions. New Zealand white (n = 8) and Dutch belted (n = 8) rabbits underwent a 2-stage transplantation operation using osteochondral grafts that had been stored for 2 or 4 wk. Trochlear grafts harvested from the left knee were transplanted to the right knee as either autografts or allografts. Grafts were fixed with 22-gauge steel wire or 3-0 nylon suture. Rabbits were euthanized for evaluation at 1, 2, 4, 6, and 12 wk after transplantation. All grafts that remained in vivo for at least 4 wk demonstrated 100% interface healing by microCT. Trabecular bridging was present at the host–graft interface starting at 2 wk after transplantation, with no significant difference in cartilage histology between the various groups. The combined histology scores indicated minimal evidence of osteoarthritis. Immunostaining revealed that superficial zone protein was localized at the surface of all transplants. The rabbit trochlear model met our criteria for a successful model in regard to the ease of the procedure, low rate of surgical complications, relatively large articular cartilage surface area, and amount of host–graft bone interface available for analysis.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California, Davis, Medical Center, Sacramento, California, USA 2: Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA 3: Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida, USA 4: Joint Preservation Institute, Sacramento, California, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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