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Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Seeded High-Density Collagen Gel for Annular Repair: 6-Week Results From In Vivo Sheep Models

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Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Seeded High-Density Collagen Gel for Annular Repair: 6-Week Results From In Vivo Sheep Models

BACKGROUND:

Our group has previously demonstrated in vivo annulus fibrosus repair in animal models using an acellular, riboflavin crosslinked, high-density collagen (HDC) gel.

OBJECTIVE:

To assess if seeding allogenic mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) into this gel yields improved histological and radiographic benefits in an in vivo sheep model of annular injury.

METHODS:

Fifteen lumbar intervertebral discs (IVDs) were randomized into 4 groups: intact, injury only, injury + acellular gel treatment, or injury + MSC-seeded gel treatment. Sheep were sacrificed at 6 wk. Disc height index (DHI), Pfirrmann grade, nucleus pulposus area, and T2 relaxation time (T2-RT) were calculated for each IVD and standardized to healthy controls from the same sheep. Quantitative histological assessment was also performed using the Han scoring system.

RESULTS:

All treated IVDs retained gel plugs on gross assessment and there were no adverse perioperative complications. The MSC-seeded gel treatment group demonstrated statistically significant improvement over other experimental groups in DHI (P = .002), Pfirrmann grade (P < .001), and T2-RT (P = .015). There was a trend for greater Han scores in the MSC-seeded gel-treated discs compared with injury only and acellular gel-treated IVDs (P = .246).

CONCLUSION:

MSC-seeded HDC gel can be delivered into injured IVDs and maintained safely in live sheep to 6 wk. Compared with no treatment and acellular HDC gel, our data show that MSC-seeded HDC gel improves outcomes in DHI, Pfirrmann grade, and T2-RT. Histological analysis shows improved annulus fibrosus and nucleus pulposus reconstitution and organization over other experimental groups as well.

Publication Name: 
Neurosurgery
Authors: 
Hussain I, Sloan SR Jr, Wipplinger C, Navarro-Ramirez R, Zubkov M, Kim E, Kirnaz S, Bonassar LJ, Härtl R.

 

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