Pretreatment with platelet derived growth factor-BB modulates the ability of costochondral resting zone chondrocytes incorporated into PLA/PGA scaffolds to form new cartilage in vivo

C. H. Lohmann, Z. Schwartz, G. G. Niederauer, D. L. Carnes, D. D. Dean, B. D. Boyan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

73 Scopus citations

Abstract

Optimal repair of chondral defects is likely to require both a suitable population of chondrogenic cells and a biodegradable matrix to provide a space-filling structural support during the early stages of cartilage formation. This study examined the ability of chondrocytes to support cartilage formation when incorporated into biodegradable scaffolds constructed from copolymers (PLG) of polylactic acid (PLA) and polyglycolic acid (PGA) and implanted in the calf muscle of nude mice. Scaffolds were fabricated to be more hydrophilic (PLG-H) or were reinforced with 10% PGA fibers (PLG-FR), increasing the stiffness of the implant by 20-fold. Confluent primary cultures of rat costochondral resting zone chondrocytes (RC) were loaded into PLG-H foams and implanted intramuscularly. To determine if growth factor pretreatment could modulate the ability of the cells to form new cartilage, RC cells were pretreated with recombinant human platelet derived growth factor-BB (PDGF-BB) for 4 or 24 h prior to implantation. To assess whether scaffold material properties could affect the ability of chondrogenic cells to form cartilage, RC cells were also loaded into PLG-FR scaffolds. To determine if the scaffolds or treatment with PDGF-BB affected the rate of chondrogenesis, tissue at the implant site was harvested at four and eight weeks post-operatively, fixed, decalcified and embedded in paraffin. Sections were obtained along the transverse plane of the lower leg, stained with haematoxylin and eosin, and then assessed by morphometric analysis for area of cartilage, area of residual implant, and area of fibrous connective tissue formation (fibrosis). Whether or not the cartilage contained hypertrophic cells was also assessed. The amount of residual implant did not change with time in any of the implanted tissues. The area occupied by PLG-FR implants was greater than that occupied by PLG-H implants at both time points. All implants were surrounded by fibrous connective tissue, whether they were seeded with RC cells or not. The amount of fibrosis was reduced at eight weeks for both implant types. When RC cells were present, the amount of fibrosis was less than seen in cell-free scaffolds. Pretreatment with PDGF-BB caused a slightly greater degree of fibrosis at four weeks than was seen if untreated cells were used in the implants. However, at eight weeks, if the cells had been exposed to PDGF-BB for 24 h, fibrosis was comparable to that seen associated with cell-free scaffolds. The cells supported an equivalent area of cartilage formation in both scaffolds. PDGF-BB caused a time-dependent decrease in cartilage formation at four weeks, but at eight weeks, there was a marked increase in cartilage formation in PDGF-BB-treated cells that was greatest in cells exposed for 4 h compared to those exposed for 24 h. Moreover, PDGF-BB decreased the formation of hypertrophic cells. The results indicate that in this model, RC cells produce cartilage; pretreatment of the RC cells with PDGF-BB promotes retention of a hyaline-like chondrogenic phenotype; and the material properties of the implant do not negatively impact on the ability of the cells to support chondrogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-61
Number of pages13
JournalBiomaterials
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

Keywords

  • Chondrocytes
  • PDGF- BB
  • Polyglycolic acid
  • Polylactic acid
  • Resting zone cells
  • Tissue engineering scaffolds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Biophysics
  • Biomaterials
  • Mechanics of Materials

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