BACKGROUND:: Connective tissue progenitors (CTPs) from native bone marrow (BM) or their culture-expanded progeny, often referred to as mesenchymal stem/stromal cells, represents a promising strategy for treatment of cartilage injuries. But the cartilage regeneration capacity of these cells remains unpredictable because of cell heterogeneity. HYPOTHESIS:: The harvest technique of BM may highly influence stem cell heterogeneity and, thus, cartilage formation because these cells have distinct spatial localization within BM from the same bone. STUDY DESIGN:: Controlled laboratory study. METHODS:: CTPs obtained from the femur of patients undergoing total hip replacement by 2 harvest techniques-BM aspiration and BM collection-after bone rasping were immunophenotyped by flow cytometry and evaluated for chondrogenic ability. The spatial localization of different CTP subsets in BM was verified by immunohistochemistry. RESULTS:: Cells from the BM after rasping were significantly more chondrogenic than the donor-matched aspirate, whereas no notable difference in their osteogenic or adipogenic potential was observed. The authors then assessed whether distinct immunophenotypically defined CTP subsets were responsible for the different chondrogenic capacity. Cells directly isolated from BM after rasping contained a higher percentage (mean, 7.2-fold) of CD45-CD271+CD56+ CTPs as compared with BM aspirates. The presence of this subset in the harvested BM strongly correlated with chondrogenic ability, showing that CD271+CD56+ cells are enriched in chondroprogenitors. Furthermore, evaluation of these CTP subsets in BM revealed that CD271+CD56+ cells were localized in the bone-lining regions whereas CD271+CD56- cells were found in the perivascular regions. Since the iliac crest remains a frequent site of BM harvest for musculoskeletal regeneration, the authors also compared the spatial distribution of these subsets in trabeculae of femoral head and iliac crest and found CD271+CD56+ bone-lining cells in both tissues. CONCLUSION:: Chondrogenically distinct CTP subsets have distinct spatial localization in BM; hence, the harvest technique of BM determines the efficiency of cartilage formation. CLINICAL RELEVANCE:: The harvest technique of BM may be of major importance in determining the clinical success of BM mesenchymal stem/stromal cells in cartilage repair.

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American Journal of Sports Medicine
Department of Orthopaedics

Sivasubramaniyan, K., Ilas, D.C. (Dragos C.), Harichandan, A. (Abhishek), Bos, K., Santos, D., de Zwart, P. (Peter), … van Osch, G. (2018). Bone Marrow-Harvesting Technique Influences Functional Heterogeneity of Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cells and Cartilage Regeneration. American Journal of Sports Medicine, 46(14), 3521–3531. doi:10.1177/0363546518804807