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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2001 Mar;83(2):289-94.

Repair of cartilage defect in the rabbit with cultured mesenchymal stem cells from bone marrow.

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  • 1Hallym University, Chunchon, Korea.


In 16 mature New Zealand white rabbits mesenchymal stem cells were aspirated from the bone marrow, cultured in monolayer and implanted on to a full-thickness osteochondral defect artificially made on the patellar groove of the same rabbit. A further 13 rabbits served as a control group. The rabbits were killed after 14 weeks. Healing of the defect was investigated histologically using haematoxylin and eosin and Safranin-O staining and with immunohistochemical staining for type-II collagen. We also used a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to detect mRNA of type-I and type-II collagen. The semiquantitative histological scores were significantly higher in the experimental group than in the control group (p < 0.05). In the experimental group immunohistochemical staining on newly formed cartilage was more intense for type-II collagen in the matrix and RT-PCR from regenerated cartilage detected mRNA for type-II collagen in mature chondrocytes. These findings suggest that repair of cartilage defects can be enhanced by the implantation of cultured mesenchymal stem cells.

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