Attempt to treat congenital pseudarthrosis of the tibia with mesenchymal stromal cell transplantation

Department of Surgery, Clinical Research Center, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland.
Cytotherapy (Impact Factor: 3.29). 09/2010; 12(5):593-604. DOI: 10.3109/14653249.2010.487898
Source: PubMed


Congenital pseudarthrosis of the tibia (CPT) caused by neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a refractory disease occurring in childhood. We present two cases that had failed all earlier treatment attempts and, as a last treatment attempt, the patients were chosen to receive mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC) transplantation prior to amputation.
The MSC from bone marrow (BM) were harvested from the iliac crest and cultured in osteoinductive medium for 3 weeks. The cultured MSC were injected in solution into BM canals of the tibia and around the resection line or bone defect in a 3-dimensional collagen sponge scaffold. After the MSC transplantation, the patients were monitored during a 10-month follow-up period. In both cases, bone formation at the pseudarthrosis site was observed and two of three treated bone defects healed. For clinical reasons not related to cell transplantation, such as new infection and pseudarthrosis and severe shortening of the leg, both extremities were finally amputated and bone samples were analyzed to evaluate MSC therapy effect and safety.
MSC transplantation normalized bone remodeling, promoted bone resorption and improved the overall structure of bone. The number of osteoclasts in the cortical bone was 2-fold higher compared with the monitored situation before MSC transfer. In addition, the mineral content of the bone improved after transplantation. We could see no sign of aberrant bone formation or malignant transformation.
Our data suggest that MSC transplantation is a possibility for treatment of CPT caused by NF1 in less severe cases without adjunct defects.

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    ABSTRACT: Congenital pseudarthrosis of the tibia (CPT) is a rare orthopedic disease presenting spontaneous fractures that do not heal. The treatment of CPT is characterized by repeated surgical procedures that often fail, with the inevitable outcome of severe disability and amputation. We tested the hypothesis that CPT may benefit from regenerative strategies based on mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) combined with platelet-rich fibrin (PRF) as a source of growth factors. The aim of the study was to verify whether laboratory testing to assess the osteogenic properties of MSC and the osteo-inductive activity of PRF correlated with the clinical outcome. Ten patients affected by refractory CPT were treated by using MSC derived from the iliac crest (IC-MSC), PRF and lyophilized bone. In six patients, CPT was associated with type 1 neurofibromatosis (NF1). Biochemical, functional and molecular assays were performed to assess the intrinsic osteogenic potential of IC-MSC (cells cultured with fetal calf serum) and the osteo-inductive properties of PRF (cells cultured with autologous serum). Bone consolidation was obtained in three patients who had CPT and NF1. In these patients, the IC-MSC exposed to autologous serum were able to form mineral nodules in vitro, while the mineralizing ability was totally abrogated in patients with a poor clinical outcome. Cell therapy may be a useful tool for the treatment of refractory CPT because it increases the opportunity to achieve effective bone tissue regeneration. Our data suggest that the presence of pro-osteogenic growth factors is an essential requirement for bone healing.
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