Xenografts of articular chondrocytes in the nude mouse
Subcutaneous transplantation of articular chondrocytes isolated enzymatically from immature rabbits and dogs into athymic (nu/nu) mice resulted in the formation of hyaline cartilaginous nodules. Graft rejection was seen when the cells were injected into heterozygous (nu/+) mice. Radiosulfate-labeled proteoglycan extracted from the xenografts had a high buoyant density and was digested by chondroitinase ABC. A monomeric preparation of proteoglycan (A1-D1) contained a small quantity of aggregate as assessed by gel chromatography and gel electrophoresis. Almost no incorporation of3H-thymidine was found by autoradiography. The matrix did not become calcified over the course of 42 days. The nude mouse system lends itself to testing a variety of problems in the biology of cartilage. These include the redifferentiation of chondrocytes following dedifferentiation in vitro. Species differences were found in this regard. The nodules formed by rabbit articular chondrocytes, grown in monolayer culture for up to 14 days, had a hyaline chondroid character. Dog chondrocytes that had “dedifferentiated,” during 14 days of culture prior to transplantation, formed a graft that had a sparse fibrous rather than hyaline matrix.
Key wordsArticular chondrocytes Nude mouse Xenograft Dedifferentiation
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