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J Orthop Res. 2009 Mar;27(3):366-73. doi: 10.1002/jor.20735.

Acceleration of spinal fusion using syngeneic and allogeneic adult adipose derived stem cells in a rat model.

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Laboratory for Equine and Comparative Orthopedic Research, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Skip Bertman Drive, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803, USA.


Posterolateral spinal fusion is the standard treatment for lumbar compression fractures. Adult adipose tissue-derived stem cells (ASCs) promote osteogenesis in vivo and in vitro. The hypothesis tested in this study was that syngeneic and allogeneic ASCs on a biomaterial scaffold composed of tricalcium phosphate and collagen I will accelerate spinal fusion in a rat model. ASCs from male Fischer or ACI rats were loaded onto scaffolds (53,571 cells/mm(3)) and cultured in stromal media for 48 h. Male Fisher rats were assigned to 4 cohorts (n = 14/cohort) after bilateral decortication of the L4 and L5 transverse processes: (1) No treatment; (2) scaffold only; (3) scaffold + syngeneic ASCs; or (4) scaffold + allogeneic ASCs. Half of each cohort was harvested 4 or 8 weeks after surgery. Spinal fusion was evaluated with radiographs, microcomputed tomography, and light microscopy. Callus did not form in spines without scaffolds. There were no significant differences in callus formation among scaffold cohorts 4 weeks after surgery. Callus formation was more mature in both ASC cohorts versus scaffold alone 8 weeks after surgery based on microstructure as well as radiographic and microcomputed tomographic evidence of active bone formation. Inflammatory cell infiltrate was significantly lower in both ASC cohorts (syngeneic = 18.3 +/- 0.85%; allogeneic = 23.5 +/- 2.33%) versus scaffold alone (46.8 +/- 11.8%) 4 weeks after surgery. Results of this study support syngeneic and allogeneic ASC acceleration of posterior lumbar spinal fusion in a rat model.

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