Lateral slit delivery of bone marrow stromal cells enhances regeneration in the decellularized allograft flexor tendon

Cheng Chang Lu, Tao Zhang, Peter C. Amadio, Kai Nan An, Steven L. Moran, Anne Gingery, Chunfeng Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background/objective: Stem cell–based therapy has been applied to accelerate the revitalization of allograft tendon into a viable and functional tendon. Although many authors have proposed different methods to help the seeded stem cell distribution in the decellularized allograft, limited success has been achieved as tendon is a high dense connective tissue. We hypothesized that bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs), seeded through the lateral slit, can regenerate the decellularized tendon (DCT) graft. The cell proliferation, cell viability, and tendon-specific gene expression are increased with the seeded cell density. Methods: Eighty-seven flexor digitorum profundus tendons were equally and randomly divided into 6 treatment groups that were seeded with low-density (2 × 107 cells/mL) and high-density (5 × 107 cells/mL) BMSCs through lateral slits cultured for 2 and 4 weeks, DCT without cells, and fresh live tendons. Tendons were evaluated for cell distribution, cell proliferation, cell viability, gene expression of Collagen I and Collagen III, tenogenic markers, and MMPs. Results: Histologic evaluation revealed BMSCs distributed from the lateral slit to the whole DCT. BMSCs were proliferated and kept viable in lateral slit decellularized tendon (LSDCT) in both seeded cell density groups after 2 and 4 weeks of culture. However, no significant differences in the cell proliferation between both cell density groups at 2 and 4 weeks of culture were observed. The lowest cell viability was found in the high-density group after 4 weeks of culture. BMSCs in LSDCT showed a significant tendency of higher gene expression of Collagen I, Collagen III, tenascin C, MMP2, MMP9, and MMP13 compared to normal tendons in both cell density groups at 2 and 4 weeks of culture. Conclusion: BMSCs proliferated and remained viable after 2 and 4 weeks of culture with distribution throughout the lateral slits. Lateral slit preparation allows for the effective delivery and maintenance of mesenchymal cells with proliferation and generating a tenogenic behaviour of DCT in both the low and high cell densities in an in vitro model. The translation potential of this article: Revitalizing the implanted decellularized allograft is important for clinical application. In this study, we demonstrated that the DCT, with lateral slits, could harbour the seeded stem cell and stimulate proliferation with collagen synthesis. This evidence was presented for clinical application of the lateral slit technique, in DCT grafts, which would repopulate the seeded BMSCs during tendon and ligament reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)58-67
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Translation
Volume19
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2019

Keywords

  • Bone marrow stromal cells
  • Decellularized graft
  • Flexor tendon
  • Tendon regeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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