Comparison of marker gene expression in chondrocytes from patients receiving autologous chondrocyte transplantation versus osteoarthritis patients.

NMI Natural and Medical Sciences Institute at the University of Tübingen, Markwiesenstrasse, 72770 Reutlingen, Germany.
Arthritis research & therapy (Impact Factor: 4.27). 02/2007; 9(3):R60. DOI: 10.1186/ar2218
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Currently, autologous chondrocyte transplantation (ACT) is used to treat traumatic cartilage damage or osteochondrosis dissecans, but not degenerative arthritis. Since substantial refinements in the isolation, expansion and transplantation of chondrocytes have been made in recent years, the treatment of early stage osteoarthritic lesions using ACT might now be feasible. In this study, we determined the gene expression patterns of osteoarthritic (OA) chondrocytes ex vivo after primary culture and subculture and compared these with healthy chondrocytes ex vivo and with articular chondrocytes expanded for treatment of patients by ACT. Gene expression profiles were determined using quantitative RT-PCR for type I, II and X collagen, aggrecan, IL-1beta and activin-like kinase-1. Furthermore, we tested the capability of osteoarthritic chondrocytes to generate hyaline-like cartilage by implanting chondrocyte-seeded collagen scaffolds into immunodeficient (SCID) mice. OA chondrocytes ex vivo showed highly elevated levels of IL-1beta mRNA, but type I and II collagen levels were comparable to those of healthy chondrocytes. After primary culture, IL-1beta levels decreased to baseline levels, while the type II and type I collagen mRNA levels matched those found in chondrocytes used for ACT. OA chondrocytes generated type II collagen and proteoglycan-rich cartilage transplants in SCID mice. We conclude that after expansion under suitable conditions, the cartilage of OA patients contains cells that are not significantly different from those from healthy donors prepared for ACT. OA chondrocytes are also capable of producing a cartilage-like tissue in the in vivo SCID mouse model. Thus, such chondrocytes seem to fulfil the prerequisites for use in ACT treatment.

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    ABSTRACT: In this study, we investigated genetic damage acquisition during in vitro culture of human osteoarthritic (OA) chondrocytes to evaluate their safety for use in regenerative medicine clinical applications. In particular, we have addressed the impact of long-term in vitro culture on simple sequence repeat stability, to evaluate the involvement of the mismatch repair system (MMR) in the accumulation of genetic damage. MMR, the main post-replicative correction pathway, has a fundamental role in maintaining genomic stability and can be monitored by assessing microsatellite instability (MSI). MMR activity has been reported to decrease with age not only in vivo, but also in vitro in relationship to culture passages. OA chondrocytes from seven donors were cultured corresponding to 13-29 population doublings. Aliquots of the cells were collected and analyzed for MSI at five DNA loci (CD4, VWA, FES, TPOX, and P53) and for MMR gene expression at each subculture. Genetic stability was confirmed throughout the culture period. MMR genes demonstrated a strong coordination at the transcriptional level among the different components; expression levels were very low, in accordance with the observed genetic stability. The reduced expression of MMR genes might underline no need for increasing DNA repair control in the culture conditions tested, in which no genetic damage was evidenced. These data argue for the safety of chondrocytes for cellular therapies and are encouraging for the potential use of in vitro expanded OA chondrocytes, supporting the extension of autologous cell therapy procedures to degenerative articular diseases.
    Journal of Cellular Physiology 10/2011; 226(10):2579-85. · 4.22 Impact Factor

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