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Novel Technique for Suspension Culture of Autologous Chondrocytes Improves Cell Proliferation and Tissue Architecture

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We have developed a new and simple method of chondrocyte suspension culture using a spinner bottle with rotation of the matrices. We compared the characteristics of chondrocytes cultured by this method with those grown in standard monolayer cultures. We also determined the optimal nutritional medium for suspension cultures. Periosteum explants seeded with chondrocytes were grown in monolayer and suspension cultures under three conditions: in medium with no additive (control), with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS), or with 10% autologous serum (AS). After culturing, the explants were harvested, processed for histology, and stained with hematoxylin-eosin or TUNEL, or immunostained for type I, II, and III collagen, and Ki-67 antigen. In monolayer cultures, the attachment of the chondrocytes to the periosteum was weak and the superficial layer consisted of fibrotic tissue and few nucleated cells. Collagen type II staining was strong, but types I and III were weak. Among the suspension cultures the AS group produced the thickest layer of chondrocytes with the fewest apoptotic cells. The superficial layer of cartilage in these cultures stained positive for type I and III collagen and Ki-67 antigen. Among the suspension cultures, total chondroitin and chondroitin-4 sulfate (C-4S) concentration was highest in the AS group, while prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) was highest in the FBS group. In summary, our new method of suspension culture of periosteal explants using rotational matrices combined with AS nutritional media was the most effective method for maintaining the bond between the chondrocyte layer and periosteum, as well as the production of type I and III collagen in the superficial layer.
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Keywords: Autologous serum; Chondrocytes; Collagen; Periosteum; Superficial layer; Suspension culture

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: *Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Kochi Medical School, Oko-cho, Nankoku, Kochi, 783-8505, Japan 2: †First Department of Pathology, Kochi Medical School, Oko-cho, Nankoku, Kochi, 783-8505, Japan

Publication date: 2002-12-01

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  • 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.

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