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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Homing and reparative effect of intra-articular injection of autologus mesenchymal stem cells in osteoarthritic animal model

Abir N Mokbel1, Omar S El Tookhy3, Ashraf A Shamaa3, Laila A Rashed2, Dina Sabry2* and Abeer M El Sayed4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of rheumatology and rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Egypt

2 Department of medical biochemistry and molecular biology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Egypt

3 Department of surgery, anesthesiology and radiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Cairo University, Egypt

4 Department of pathology, National Cancer Institute, Cairo University, Egypt

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2011, 12:259  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-12-259

Published: 15 November 2011

Abstract

Background

This work aimed to study the homing evidence and the reparative effect of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in the healing process of induced osteoarthritis in experimental animal model (donkeys).

Methods

Twenty-seven donkeys were equally divided into 3 groups based on the observation period after induction of arthritis (3, 6 and 9 weeks) to achieve different degrees of osteoarthritis. Each group was subdivided into three subgroups of three animals each based on the follow-up period (1, 2 and 6 months) after treatment. The induction was done through intra-articular (IA) injection of 2 ml of Amphotericin-B in both carpal joints. MSCs were harvested in a separate procedure, labeled with green fluorescent protein (GFP) using monster GFP vector and suspended in hyaluronic acid for IA injection. Treatment approaches consisted of cell-treatment using MSCs suspended in 3 ml of hyaluronic acid (HA) for the right carpal joint; and using the same amount of (HA) but without MSCs for the left contralateral carpal joint to serve as a control. Animals were assessed clinically and radiologically before and after treatment. Synovial fluid was also evaluated. Histopathologically; articular cartilage structural changes, reduction of articular cartilage matrix staining, osteophyte formation, and subchondral bone plate thickening were graded. Data was summarized using median and percentile for scores of histopathologic grading. Comparison between groups was done using non-parametric Mann Whitney test.

Results

The reparative effect of MSCs was significant both clinically and radiologically in all treated groups (P < 0.05) compared to the control groups. Fluorescence microscopy of sections of the cell-treated joints of all animals indicated that the GFP-transduced injected cells have participated effectively in the reparative process of the damaged articular surface and have integrated within the existing articular cartilage. The cells were associated with the surface of the cartilage and, were also detected in the interior.

Conclusions

Homing was confirmed by the incorporation of injected GFP-labeled MSCs within the repaired newly formed cartilage. Significant recovery proves that the use of IA injection of autologous MSCs is a viable and a practical option for treating different degrees of osteoarthritis.

http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/10/44/abstract webcite

Keywords:
MSCs; Chondral defect; Intra-articular; Homing; GFP; Repair; Donkeys