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Zhaofeng Jia and Qisong Liu contributed equally to this work
The role of rabbit synovial fluid-derived mesenchymal stem cells (rbSF-MSCs) in cartilage defect repair remains undefined. This work evaluates the in vivo effects of rbSF-MSCs to repair knee articular cartilage defects in a rabbit model.
Cartilage defects were made in the patellar grooves of New Zealand white rabbits. The rbSF-MSCs were generated from the knee cavity by arthrocentesis. Passage 5 rbSF-MSCs were assayed by flow cytometry. The multipotency of rbSF-MSCs was confirmed after 3 weeks induction in vitro and the autologous rbSF-MSCs and predifferentiated rbSF-MSCs were injected into the synovial cavity. The intra-articular injection was performed once a week for 4 weeks. The animals were euthanized and the articular surfaces were subjected to macroscopic and histological evaluations at 8 and 12 weeks after the first intra-articular injection.
Hyaline-like cartilage was detected in the defects treated with rbSF-MSCs, while fibrocartilage tissue formed in the defects treated with chondrocytes induced from rbSF-MSCs.
Our results suggest that autologous undifferentiated rbSF-MSCs are favorable to articular cartilage regeneration in treating cartilage defects.