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Is the repair of articular cartilage lesion by costal chondrocyte transplantation donor age-dependent? An experimental study in rabbits.

Author(s): Paweł Szeparowicz | Janusz Popko | Bogusław Sawicki | Sławomir Wołczyński

Journal: Folia Histochemica et Cytobiologica
ISSN 0239-8508

Volume: 44;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 201;
Date: 2006;
Original page

The repair of chondral injuries is a very important problem and a subject of many experimental and clinical studies. Different techniques to induce articular cartilage repair are under investigation. In the present study, we have investigated whether the repair of articular cartilage folowing costal chondrocyte transplantation is donor age-dependent. Transplantation of costal chondrocytes from 4- and 24-week old donors, with artificially induced femoral cartilage lesion, was performed on fourteen 20-week-old New Zealand White male rabbits. In the control group, the lesion was left without chondrocyte transplantation. The evaluation of the cartilage repair was performed after 12 weeks of transplantation. We analyzed the macroscopic and histological appearance of the newly formed tissue. Immunohistochemistry was also performed using monoclonal antibodies against rabbit collagen type II. The newly formed tissue had a hyaline-like appearance in most of the lesions after chondrocyte transplantation. Positive immunohistochemical reaction for collagen II was also observed in both groups with transplanted chondrocytes. Cartilage from adult donors required longer isolation time and induced slightly poorer repair. However, hyaline-like cartilage was observed in most specimens from this group, in contrast to the control group, where fibrous connective tissue filled the lesions. Rabbit costal chondrocytes seem to be a potentially useful material for inducing articular cartilage repair and, even more important, they can also be derived from adult, sexually mature animals.
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