Adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are an attractive cell source for new treatment strategies in regenerative medicine. This study investigated the potential effect of matrix assisted MSC transplantation for articular cartilage regeneration in a large-animal model 8 weeks postoperatively. MSCs from bone marrow aspirates of eight Goettingen minipigs were isolated and expanded prior to surgery. Articular cartilage defects of 5.4 mm were created bilaterally in the medial patellar groove without penetrating the subchondral bone plate. Defects were either left empty (n = 4), covered with a collagen type I/III membrane (n = 6) or additionally treated with autologous MSC transplantation (2 × 106; n = 6). After 8 weeks animals were euthanized and the defect area was assessed for its gross appearance. Histomorphological analysis of the repair tissue included semiquantitative scoring (O'Driscoll score) and quantitative histomorphometric analysis for its glycosaminoglycan (GAG) and collagen type II content. All membranes were found to cover the defect area 8 weeks postoperatively. Median defect filling was 115.8% (membrane), 117.8% (empty), and 100.4% (MSC), respectively (not significant). Histomorphological scoring revealed significantly higher values in MSC-treated defects (median 16.5) when compared to membrane treatment (median 9.5) or empty defects (median 11.5; p = 0.015 and p = 0.038). Histomorphometric analysis showed larger GAG/collagen type II-positive areas in the MSC-treated group (median 24.6%/29.5% of regeneration tissue) compared to 13.6%/33.1% (empty defects) and 1.7%/6.2% (membrane group; p = 0.066). Cell distribution was more homogeneous in MSC compared to membrane-only group, where cells were found mainly near the subchondral zone. In conclusion, autologous matrix-assisted MSC transplantation significantly increased the histomorphological repair tissue quality during early articular cartilage defect repair and resulted in higher GAG/collagen type II-positive cross-sectional areas of the regenerated tissue.
No Supplementary Data.
Mesenchymal stem cells;
Document Type: Research Article
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
Publication date: 2009-08-01
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