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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 149  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 650-655

Similar regeneration of articular cartilage defects with autologous & allogenic chondrocytes in a rabbit model

1 Department of Orthopaedics; Department of Center for Stem Cell Research, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India
2 Department of Orthopaedics, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India
3 Department of Physiology, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India
4 Histopathology Laboratory, Biomedical Technology Wing, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences & Technology, Thiruvananthapuram, India
5 Bone & Joint Hospital, Tiruchirappalli, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. P R.J.V.C. Boopalan
Department of Orthopaedics, Christian Medical College, Vellore 632 004, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_1233_17

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Background & objectives: Articular cartilage defects in the knee have a very poor capacity for repair due to avascularity. Autologous chondrocyte transplantation (ACT) is an established treatment for articular cartilage defects. Animal studies have shown promising results with allogenic chondrocyte transplantation since articular cartilage is non-immunogenic. In addition to being economical, allogenic transplantation has less morbidity compared to ACT. This study was undertaken to compare ACT with allogenic chondrocyte transplantation in the treatment of experimentally created articular cartilage defects in rabbit knee joints. Methods: Cartilage was harvested from the left knee joints of six New Zealand white rabbits (R1-R6). The harvested chondrocytes were cultured to confluence and transplanted onto a 3.5 mm chondral defect in the right knees of 12 rabbits [autologous in 6 rabbits (R1-R6) and allogenic in 6 rabbits (R7-R12)]. After 12 wk, the rabbits were euthanized and histological evaluation of the right knee joints were done with hematoxylin and eosin and safranin O staining. Quality of the repair tissue was assessed by the modified Wakitani histological grading scale. Results: Both autologous and allogenic chondrocyte transplantation resulted in the regeneration of hyaline/mixed hyaline cartilage. The total histological scores between the two groups showed no significant difference. Interpretation & conclusions: Allogenic chondrocyte transplantation seems to be as effective as ACT in cartilage regeneration, with the added advantages of increased cell availability and reduced morbidity of a single surgery.

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