Regeneration of the articular surface of the rabbit synovial joint by cell homing: a proof of concept study.
ABSTRACT A common approach for tissue regeneration is cell delivery, for example by direct transplantation of stem or progenitor cells. An alternative, by recruitment of endogenous cells, needs experimental evidence. We tested the hypothesis that the articular surface of the synovial joint can regenerate with a biological cue spatially embedded in an anatomically correct bioscaffold.
In this proof of concept study, the surface morphology of a rabbit proximal humeral joint was captured with laser scanning and reconstructed by computer-aided design. We fabricated an anatomically correct bioscaffold using a composite of poly-epsilon-caprolactone and hydroxyapatite. The entire articular surface of unilateral proximal humeral condyles of skeletally mature rabbits was surgically excised and replaced with bioscaffolds spatially infused with transforming growth factor beta3 (TGFbeta3)-adsorbed or TGFbeta3-free collagen hydrogel. Locomotion and weightbearing were assessed 1-2, 3-4, and 5-8 weeks after surgery. At 4 months, regenerated cartilage samples were retrieved from in vivo and assessed for surface fissure, thickness, density, chondrocyte numbers, collagen type II and aggrecan, and mechanical properties.
Ten rabbits received TGFbeta3-infused bioscaffolds, ten received TGFbeta3-free bioscaffolds, and three rabbits underwent humeral-head excision without bioscaffold replacement. All animals in the TGFbeta3-delivery group fully resumed weightbearing and locomotion 3-4 weeks after surgery, more consistently than those in the TGFbeta3-free group. Defect-only rabbits limped at all times. 4 months after surgery, TGFbeta3-infused bioscaffolds were fully covered with hyaline cartilage in the articular surface. TGFbeta3-free bioscaffolds had only isolated cartilage formation, and no cartilage formation occurred in defect-only rabbits. TGFbeta3 delivery yielded uniformly distributed chondrocytes in a matrix with collagen type II and aggrecan and had significantly greater thickness (p=0.044) and density (p<0.0001) than did cartilage formed without TGFbeta3. Compressive and shear properties of TGFbeta3-mediated articular cartilage did not differ from those of native articular cartilage, and were significantly greater than those of cartilage formed without TGFbeta3. Regenerated cartilage was avascular and integrated with regenerated subchondral bone that had well defined blood vessels. TGFbeta3 delivery recruited roughly 130% more cells in the regenerated articular cartilage than did spontaneous cell migration without TGFbeta3.
Our findings suggest that the entire articular surface of the synovial joint can regenerate without cell transplantation. Regeneration of complex tissues is probable by homing of endogenous cells, as exemplified by stratified avascular cartilage and vascularised bone. Whether cell homing acts as an adjunctive or alternative approach of cell delivery for regeneration of tissues with different organisational complexity warrants further investigation.
New York State Stem Cell Science; US National Institutes of Health.
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ABSTRACT: Adult muscle satellite cells have a principal role in postnatal skeletal muscle growth and regeneration. Satellite cells reside as quiescent cells underneath the basal lamina that surrounds muscle fibres and respond to damage by giving rise to transient amplifying cells (progenitors) and myoblasts that fuse with myofibres. Recent experiments showed that, in contrast to cultured myoblasts, satellite cells freshly isolated or satellite cells derived from the transplantation of one intact myofibre contribute robustly to muscle repair. However, because satellite cells are known to be heterogeneous, clonal analysis is required to demonstrate stem cell function. Here we show that when a single luciferase-expressing muscle stem cell is transplanted into the muscle of mice it is capable of extensive proliferation, contributes to muscle fibres, and Pax7(+)luciferase(+) mononucleated cells can be readily re-isolated, providing evidence of muscle stem cell self-renewal. In addition, we show using in vivo bioluminescence imaging that the dynamics of muscle stem cell behaviour during muscle repair can be followed in a manner not possible using traditional retrospective histological analyses. By imaging luciferase activity, real-time quantitative and kinetic analyses show that donor-derived muscle stem cells proliferate and engraft rapidly after injection until homeostasis is reached. On injury, donor-derived mononucleated cells generate massive waves of cell proliferation. Together, these results show that the progeny of a single luciferase-expressing muscle stem cell can both self-renew and differentiate after transplantation in mice, providing new evidence at the clonal level that self-renewal is an autonomous property of a single adult muscle stem cell.Nature 10/2008; 456(7221):502-6. · 38.60 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Osteoarthritis (OA) is a disease affecting articular cartilage and the underlying bone, resulting from many biological and mechanical interacting factors which change the extracellular matrix (ECM) and cells and lead to increasing levels of cartilage degeneration, like softening, fibrillation, ulceration and cartilage loss. The early diagnosis of the disease is fundamental to prevent pain, further tissue degeneration and reduce hospital costs. Although morphological modifications can be detected by modern non-invasive diagnostic techniques, they may not be evident in the early stages of OA. The mechanical properties of articular cartilage are related to its composition and structure and are sensitive to even small changes in the ECM that could occur in early OA. The aim of the present study was to compare the mechanical properties of healthy and OA cartilage using a combined experimental-numerical approach. Experimental assessments consisted of step wise confined and unconfined compression and tension stress relaxation tests on disks (for compression) or strips (for tension) of cartilage obtained from human femoral heads discarded from the operating room after total hip replacement. The numerical model was based on the biphasic theory and included the tension-compression non-linearity. Considering OA samples vs normal samples, the static compressive modulus was 55-68% lower, the permeability was 60-80% higher, the dynamic compressive modulus was 59-64% lower, the static tension modulus was 72-83% lower. The model successfully simulated the experimental tests performed on healthy and OA cartilage and was used in combination with the experimental tests to evaluate the role of different ECM components in the mechanical response of normal and OA cartilage.Biorheology 02/2008; 45(3-4):337-44. · 1.29 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The field of Regenerative Biology as it applies to Regenerative Medicine is an increasingly expanding area of research with hopes of providing therapeutic treatments for diseases and/or injuries that conventional medicines and even new biologic drug therapies cannot effectively treat. Extensive research in the area of Regenerative Medicine is focused on the development of cells, tissues and organs for the purpose of restoring function through transplantation. The general belief is that replacement, repair and restoration of function is best accomplished by cells, tissues or organs that can perform the appropriate physiologic/metabolic duties better than any mechanical device, recombinant protein therapeutic or chemical compound. Several strategies are currently being investigated and include, cell therapies derived from autologous primary cell isolates, cell therapies derived from established cell lines, cell therapies derived from a variety of stem cells, including bone marrow/mesenchymal stem cells, cord blood stem cells, embryonic stem cells, as well as cells tissues and organs from genetically modified animals. This mini-review is not meant to be exhaustive, but aims to highlight clinical applications for the four areas of research listed above and will address a few key advances and a few of the hurdles yet to be overcome as the technology and science improve the likelihood that Regenerative Medicine will become clinically routine.Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 12/2003; 1:102. · 2.14 Impact Factor