Enhance Ligament Healing

2002 Jul 1;58(1):39-44.
Fate of donor bone marrow cells in medial collateral ligament after simulated autologous transplantation.
Watanabe N, Woo SL, Papageorgiou C, Celechovsky C, Takai S.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine,
Kawaramachi-Hirokoji, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto, 602-0841, Japan.

A potential strategy to enhance ligament healing by transplantation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which are demonstrated to differentiate into fibroblast-like cells in vitro, is presented. The objective of this study was to follow transplanted nucleated cells from bone marrow, which contain MSCs, in the healing medial collateral ligament (MCL) over time, and to examine their phenotype and survivability. It was hypothesized that MSCs in nucleated cells from bone marrow would differentiate into fibroblast-like cells in the healing ligament following adaptation to the environment. The transplantation model employed in this study eliminates the immune response to a donor by the recipient using a transgenic rat (donor), which does not produce foreign protein from transgenes, and its wild-type rat (recipient) in order to simulate autologous transplantation. The MCL of the wild-type rat was ruptured, where 1 x 10(6) nucleated cells of bone marrow from the transgenic rat were injected. The transgenes in transplanted nucleated cells were detected throughout the healing MCL for 28 days by in situ hybridization. At 3 days, many donor cells were evident in the injury site and fascial pocket, and some were found in the midsubstance. Morphologically, transplanted cells with elongated nuclei were found at the ruptured edge of the midsubstance and surface of the unruptured site after 3 days. At 28 days, these cells continued to survive in the healing MCL. Their shapes were similar to those of surrounding recipient MCL fibroblasts. Thus, transplanted cells might differentiate into fibroblasts. Therefore, it was demonstrated that there is a potential for nucleated cells from bone marrow to serve as a vehicle for therapeutic molecules as well as to be a source in enhancing healing of ligaments.

Copyright 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

PMID: 12112421 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]