Experimental and therapeutic medicine

Matrigel scaffold combined with Ad-hBMP7-transfected chondrocytes improves the repair of rabbit cartilage defect.

PMID 28352329


The aim of this study was to explore an effective method for the repair of cartilage defects using chitosan/glycerophosphate (C/GP) gel- and Matrigel-engineered human bone morphogenetic protein 7 (hBMP7)-expressing chondrocytes. Rabbit chondrocytes were obtained, cultured in vitro and transfected with an adenovirus containing hBMP7 and green fluorescent protein (Ad-hBMP7-GFP). The expression of hBMP7 in the transfected cells was tested by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and western blotting. The phenotype of the transfected cells was evaluated by detecting the yields of collagen II and hyaluronic acid using RT-PCR and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The growth of chondrocytes in the C/GP gel and Matrigel was accessed by measuring the cell growth rate, hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining and observation under a scanning microscope. Twelve adult male New Zealand white rabbits were randomly divided into three groups. Two cartilage defects were created in the rabbits' knees by aseptic surgery. Group A (n=4) did not receive any treatment, group B (n=4) were treated with C/GP gel and Matrigel-engineered Ad-mock-GFP-transfected chondrocytes, and group C (n=4) were treated with C/GP gel and Matrigel-engineered Ad-hBMP7-GFP-transfected chondrocytes. Rabbits were sacrificed at 4 weeks after transplantation, and the repair effect was measured by the Wakitani scoring method. On the basis of the RT-PCR and western blot results, hBMP7 was efficiently overexpressed in the Ad-hBMP7-GFP-transfected chondrocytes. The ELISA results showed that the yields of collagen II and hyaluronic acid in Ad-hBMP7-GFP-transfected chondrocytes were significantly higher than those in Ad-mock-GFP-transfected chondrocytes. Chondrocytes have a better morphology and arrangement in a Matrigel scaffold than in C/GP, as assessed by H&E staining and scanning microscopy. According to the Wakitani score, Matrigel combined with Ad-hBMP7-GFP-transfected chondrocytes successfully promoted the repair of cartilage defects in rabbit knees.

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D.E.R. 332, used as embedding medium