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J Anat. 2009 Sep;215(3):355-63. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7580.2009.01115.x. Epub 2009 Jun 26.

Identification of a stem cell niche in the zone of Ranvier within the knee joint.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Chemistry and Transfusion Medicine, Institute of Biomedicine, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg University, S-413 45 Gothenburg, Sweden. camilla.karlsson@medic.gu.se

Abstract

A superficial lesion of the articular cartilage does not spontaneously self-repair and has been suggested to be partly due to lack of progenitor cells within the joint that can reach the site of injury. To study whether progenitor cells are present within the joint, 3-month-old New Zealand white rabbits were exposed to bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) for 12 consecutive days and were then sacrificed 4, 6, 10, 14, 28 and 56 days after the first BrdU administration. Presence of BrdU and localization of progenitor markers were detected using immunohistochemistry. After 10 days of BrdU exposure, BrdU-positive cells, i.e. proliferating cells, were abundantly detected in the epiphyseal plate, the perichondrial groove of Ranvier, and in all zones of the articular cartilage. After a wash-out period, BrdU-positive cells were still present, i.e. those considered to be progenitor cells, in these regions of the knee except for the proliferative zone of the epiphyseal plate. Cells in the perichondrial groove of Ranvier were further positive for several markers associated with progenitor cells and stem cell niches, including Stro-1, Jagged1, and BMPr1a. Our results demonstrate that a small population of progenitor cells is present in the perichondrial groove of Ranvier as well as within the articular cartilage in the knee. The perichondrial groove of Ranvier also demonstrates the properties of a stem cell niche.

PMID:
19563472
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2750766
Free PMC Article
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