Microfracture of cartilage induces migration of bone-marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells. However, this treatment often results in fibrocartilage regeneration. Growth factors such as bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-2 induce the differentiation of bone-marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells into chondrocytes, which can be used for hyaline cartilage regeneration. Here, we tested the hypothesis that long-term delivery of BMP-2 to cartilage defects subjected to microfracture results in regeneration of high-quality hyaline-like cartilage, as opposed to short-term delivery of BMP-2 or no BMP-2 delivery. Heparin-conjugated fibrin (HCF) and normal fibrin were used as carriers for the long- and short-term delivery of BMP-2, respectively. Rabbit articular cartilage defects were treated with microfracture combined with one of the following: no treatment, fibrin, short-term delivery of BMP-2, HCF, or long-term delivery of BMP-2. Eight weeks after treatment, histological analysis revealed that the long-term delivery of BMP-2 group (microfracture + HCF + BMP-2) showed the most staining with alcian blue. A biochemical assay, real-time polymerase chain reaction assay and Western blot analysis all revealed that the long-term delivery of BMP-2 group had the highest glucosaminoglycan content as well as the highest expression level of collagen type II. Taken together, the long-term delivery of BMP-2 to cartilage defects subjected to microfracture resulted in regeneration of hyaline-like cartilage, as opposed to short-term delivery or no BMP-2 delivery. Therefore, this method could be more convenient for hyaline cartilage regeneration than autologous chondrocyte implantation due to its less invasive nature and lack of cell implantation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering