Early Graft Tunnel Healing After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction With Intratunnel Injection of Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor

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21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) are multipotent adult stem cells and have become an important source of cells for engineering tissue repair and cell therapy. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) promotes angiogenesis and contributes fibrous integration between tendon and bone during the early postoperative stage. Both MSCs and VEGF can stimulate cell proliferation, differentiation, and matrix deposition by enhancing angiogenesis and osteogenesis of the graft in the tunnel. Hypothesis: Injection of intratunnel BM-MSCs and VEGF enhances the early healing process of a tendon graft. Study Design: Controlled laboratory study. Methods: In this controlled animal laboratory study, each of 4 groups of rabbits underwent unilateral anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction with use of the ipsilateral semitendinosus tendon. The rabbits received intratunnel injection of BM-MSCs and VEGF with a fibrin glue seal covering the distal tunnel at the articular site. Evaluation using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), collagen type III expression, and biomechanical analyses were performed at 3- and 6-week intervals. Results: All parameters using MRI, collagen type III expression, and biomechanical analysis of pullout strength of the graft showed that application of intratunnel BM-MSCs and VEGF enhanced tendon-to-bone healing after ACL reconstruction. Conclusion: Intratunnel injections of BM-MSCs and VEGF after ACL reconstruction enhanced graft tunnel healing. Overall, the femoral tunnel that received BM-MSCs and VEGF had better advanced healing with increased collagen type III fibers and better outcomes on MRI and biomechanical analysis. MRI is the most reliable tool for clinical use in evaluating stages of ACL healing after reconstruction, since biopsy is an invasive procedure.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOrthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
Volume5
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2017

Keywords

  • anterior cruciate ligament
  • bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell
  • graft tunnel healing
  • vascular endothelial growth factor

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