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Open Access Beneficial Effect of Autologous Transplantation of Endothelial Progenitor Cells on Steroid-Induced Femoral Head Osteonecrosis in Rabbits

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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.
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Keywords: Bone regeneration; Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs); Osteonecrosis; Steroid; Vascularization

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-02-01

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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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