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Embryonic Stem Cells Form Articular Cartilage, not Teratomas, in Osteochondral Defects of Rat Joints

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Embryonic stem (ES) cells are considered to be a potential tool for repairing articular cartilage defects, but so far it has been impossible to cause these cells to differentiate into chondrocytes exclusively, either in vivo or in vitro. To explore a potential new cell source of cell transplantation for articular cartilage defects, we transplanted ES cells into articular cartilage defects in immunosuppressed rats. ES cells (AB2.2 or CCE cells) were transplanted into articular cartilage defects in the patellar groove of immunosuppressed rats treated with cyclosporine. The cells were histologically observed until 8 weeks after transplantation. To determine whether the repair tissue in the defect in the AB2.2-transplanted group was derived from the transplanted cells, the neomycin-resistant gene, which had been transfected into AB2.2 cells but does not exist in rat cells, was used for detection. The cells produced cartilage, resulting in repair of the defects from 4 weeks until 8 weeks after the transplantation without forming any teratomas. The neomycin-resistant gene was detected in every sample, demonstrating that the repair tissue in the AB2.2-transplanted group was derived from the transplanted AB2.2 cells. The environment of osteochondral defects is chondrogenic for ES cells. ES cells may thus be a potential tool for repairing articular cartilage defects.
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Keywords: Chondrogenic lineage; Hyaline cartilage; Local environment; Regeneration

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: *Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Shinshu University School of Medicine, Matsumoto 390-8621, Japan 2: †Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Toho University School of Medicine, Tokyo 143-8540, Japan 3: ‡Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University, Kyoto 606-8508, Japan 4: §Otsuka GEN Research Institute, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Tokushima 771-0130, Japan 5: ¶Fujii Memorial Research Institute, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Otsu 520-0106, Japan

Publication date: 2004-01-01

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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.

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

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