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Development. 1989 Nov;107(3):473-80.

Bone formation following intrarenal transplantation of isolated murine chondrocytes: chondrocyte-bone cell transdifferentiation?

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Department of Histology and Embryology, Medical Academy, Warsaw, Poland.


Isolated syngeneic epiphyseal chondrocytes transplanted into a muscle formed cartilage in which matrix resorption and endochondral ossification began at the end of the second week after transplantation. After 56 days cartilage was converted into an ossicle. In 7-day-old intrarenal transplants, epiphyseal chondrocytes formed nodules of cartilage. In 10-day-old transplants, islands of bone appeared. Slight resorption of cartilage was first noted in 14-day-old transplants of chondrocytes. After eight weeks, transplants contained mainly bone. Intramuscularly transplanted rib chondrocytes formed cartilage which did not ossify. Nevertheless, bone islands appeared in intrarenal transplants of rib chondrocytes. Bone was not formed in allogeneic intrarenal transplants of epiphyseal or rib chondrocytes, but appeared in such transplants in animals immunosuppressed by anti-thymocyte serum and procarbazine. When spleen cells from animals immunized with allogeneic chondrocytes were transferred to immunosuppressed chondrocyte recipients two weeks after intrarenal chondrocyte transplantation, the majority of osteocytes in bone islands was dead. On the other hand, endochondral bone formed in intramuscular transplants of allogenic epiphyseal chondrocytes in immunosuppressed recipients was not damaged by sensitized spleen cells. This suggested that bone in 10- to 14-day-old intrarenal transplants of chondrocytes arose from injected cells and not by induction. To see whether bone was formed by chondrocytes or by some cells contaminating the chondrocyte suspension, the superficial layer of rib cartilage was removed by collagenase digestion and only more central chondrocytes were used for transplantation.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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