Combination of Mesenchymal Stem Cells, Cartilage Pellet and Bioscaffold Supported Cartilage Regeneration of a Full Thickness Articular Surface Defect in Rabbits
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Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and/or biological scaffolds have been used to regenerate articular cartilage with variable success. In the present study we evaluated cartilage regeneration using a combination of bone marrow (BM)-MSCs, HyalofastTM and/or native cartilage tissue following full thickness surgical cartilage defect in rabbits.
Full-thickness surgical ablation of the medial-tibial cartilage was performed in New Zealand white (NZW) rabbits. Control rabbits (Group-I) received no treatment; Animals in other groups were treated as follows. Group-II: BM-MSCs (1 × 106 cells) + HyalofastTM; Group-III: BMMSCs (1 × 106 cells) + cartilage pellet (CP); and Group-IV: BM-MSCs (1 × 106 cells) + HyalofastTM + CP. Animals were sacrificed at 12 weeks and cartilage regeneration analyzed using histopathology, International Cartilage Repair Society (ICRS-II) score, magnetic resonance observation of cartilage repair tissue (MOCART) score and biomechanical studies.
Gross images showed good tissue repair (Groups IV > III > Group II) and histology demonstrated intact superficial layer, normal chondrocyte arrangement, tidemark and cartilage matrix staining (Groups III and IV) compared to the untreated control (Group I) respectively. ICRS-II score was 52.5, 65.0, 66 and 75% (Groups I–IV) and the MOCART score was 50.0, 73.75 and 76.25 (Groups II–IV) respectively. Biomechanical properties of the regenerated cartilage tissue in Group IV closed resembled that of a normal cartilage.
HyalofastTM together with BM-MSCs and CP led to efficient cartilage regeneration following full thickness surgical ablation of tibial articular cartilage in vivo in rabbits. Presence of hyaluronic acid in the scaffold and native microenvironment cues probably facilitated differentiation and integration of BM-MSCs.
KeywordsOsteoarthritis BM-MSCs Bio-scaffold Histo-pathology Biomechanics
We acknowledge the financial support provided by the “Sheik Salem Bin Mahfouz Scientific Chair for Treatment of Osteoarthritis by Stem Cells”; the stem cell laboratory facility at CEGMR and the animal facility at King Fahd Medical Research Centre, King Abdulaziz University.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
All the authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This manuscript has not been published previously in any other journal or language. The study protocol was approved by the Institutional Review Board (IACUC no. 113-157).
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