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Characteristics of Cartilage Biopsies Used for Autologous Chondrocytes Transplantation

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Biopsies removed from 57 patients considered for cartilage transplantation were grown at CTI Ltd. (47 biopsies) and at Tel Aviv University (10 biopsies). Tissue processing took place in dedicated laboratories. Explant cultures allowed cell number expansion. Fifty-four out of 57 biopsies grew cells. Fanning out of the cells began after 5–15 days in culture. Two passages later, cell numbers in the 107 range were achieved. Cells from all cultures expressed mRNA of aggrecan and link protein but not of alkaline phosphatase. Histochemical stains such as alcian blue pH 1 were negative in sparse monolayer cultures, but positive in pellet cultures. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated expression of collagen type I in monolayer cultures, switching to collagen type II in micromass cultures. Fibroblast growth factor receptor 3, a recently described characteristic receptor of precartilaginous cells, was expressed in monolayers and disappeared in micromass cultures. In conclusion, explants of articular chondrocytes cultured in vitro consistently yield monolayer cultures. The cells appear to revert to dedifferentiated chondrocytes, expressing a mesenchymal stem cell protein profile. Simultaneously, these cells regained their capacity to proliferate. Cultures held as micromass allowed reexpression of the differentiated phenotype traits.
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Keywords: Chondrocy; Key words: Chondrocytes transplantation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: ‡Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Sackler Medical School, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel 2: †CTI Ltd., Kiriyat Weizman Science Park, Rehovot, Israel

Publication date: 2001-02-01

More about this publication?
  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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