Beneficial Effect of Autologous Transplantation of Endothelial Progenitor Cells on Steroid-Induced Femoral Head Osteonecrosis in Rabbits
Abstract:Femoral head osteonecrosis (ON) is a serious complication of steroid administration. We examined whether implantation of autologous bone marrow-derived endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) can augment neovascularization and bone regeneration in steroid-induced osteonecrosis of the femoral head. Forty 12-week-old male New-Zealand white rabbits were divided into group I (left untreated, n = 12), group II (core decompression, n = 12), and group III (core decompression + autologous EPCs implantation, n = 16) after receiving an established inductive protocol for inducing steroid-associated ON. Four weeks later, these rabbits were euthanized, bilateral femora were dissected for Micro-CT-based microangiography to assess vascularization, and then the osteonecrotic changes and repair processes were examined histopathologically. Quantitative analysis showed that new vessel formation in group III was significantly greater compared with other groups at 4 weeks after treatment. The histologic and histomorphometric analyses revealed that the new bone volume was significantly higher in group III than in groups I and II 4 weeks after treatment. A combination of EPCs and core decompression enhances the neovascularization and bone regeneration in rabbit steroid-induced femoral head ON. Local implantation of EPCs may provide a novel and effective therapeutic option for early corticosteroid-induced ON.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2011-02-01
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