Researchers initially proposed the substitution of apoptotic chondrocytes in the superficial cartilage by injecting mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) intraarticularly. This effect was termed as bio-resurfacing. Little evidence supporting the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA) by the delivery of a MSC suspension exists. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of injecting allogenic MSCs intraarticularly in a rat OA model and to evaluate the influence of immobility on the effects of this treatment.
Methods: We established a rat knee OA model after 4 and 6 weeks and cultured primary bone marrow MSCs. A MSC suspension was injected into the articular space once per week for 3 weeks. A subgroup of knee joints was immobilized for 3 days after each injection, while the remaining joints were nonimmobilized. We used toluidine blue staining, Mankin scores, and TdT-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end labeling staining to evaluate the therapeutic effect of the injections. Comparisons between the therapy side and the control side of the knee joint were made using paired t-test, and comparisons between the immobilized and nonimmobilized subgroups were made using the unpaired t-test. A P value < 0.05 was considered significant.Read More