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Open Access Achilles Tendon Regeneration Can Be Improved by Amniotic Epithelial Cell Allotransplantation

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Amniotic epithelial cells (AECs) are ideal seed cells for tissue regeneration, but no research has yet been reported on their tendon regeneration potential. This study investigated the efficiency of AEC allotransplantation for tendon healing, as well as the mechanism involved. To this aim ovine AECs, characterized by specific surface and stemness markers (CD14-, CD31-, CD45-, CD49f, CD29, CD166, OCT4, SOX2, NANOG, TERT), were allotransplanted into experimentally induced tissue defects in sheep Achilles tendon. In situ tissue repair revealed that AEC-treated tendons had much better structural and mechanical recoveries than control ones during the early phase of healing. Immunohistochemical and biochemical analyses indicated that extracellular matrix remodeling was more rapid and that immature collagen fibers were completely replaced by mature ones in 28 days. Moreover, spatial‐temporal analysis of cellularity, proliferation index, vascular area, and leukocyte infiltration revealed that AECs induced a specific centripetal healing process that first started in the tissue closer to the healthy portion of the tendons, where AECs rapidly migrated to then progress through the core of the lesion. This peculiar healing evolution could have been induced by the growth factor stimulatory influence (TGF-β1 and VEGF) and/or by the host progenitor cells recruitment, but also as the consequence of a direct tenogenic AEC differentiation resulting in the regeneration of new tendon matrix. These findings demonstrate that AECs can support tendon regeneration, and their effects may be used to develop future strategies to treat tendon disease characterized by a poor clinical outcome in veterinary medicine.
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Keywords: Achilles tendon; Amniotic epithelial cells (AECs); Cellular therapy; Tissue regeneration

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2012-11-01

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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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