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Comparison of Minced Cartilage Implantation with Autologous Chondrocyte Transplantation in an In Vitro Inflammation Model.


Authors: Robert Ossendorff, Lisa Grede, Sebastian Scheidt, Andreas C Strauss, Christof Burger, Dieter C Wirtz, Gian M Salzmann, Frank A Schildberg

The current gold standard to treat large cartilage defects is autologous chondrocyte transplantation (ACT). As a new surgical method of cartilage regeneration, minced cartilage implantation (MCI) is increasingly coming into focus. The aim of this study is to investigate the influence of chondrogenesis between isolated and cultured chondrocytes compared to cartilage chips in a standardized inflammation model with the proinflammatory cytokine TNFα. Articular chondrocytes from bovine cartilage were cultured according to the ACT method to passage 3 and transferred to spheroid culture. At the same time, cartilage was fragmented (<1 mm) to produce cartilage chips. TNFα (20 ng/mL) was supplemented to simulate an inflammatory process. TNFα had a stronger influence on the passaged chondrocytes compared to the non-passaged ones, affecting gene expression profiles differently between isolated chondrocytes and cartilage chips. MCI showed less susceptibility to TNFα, with reduced IL-6 release and less impact on inflammation markers. Biochemical and histological analyses supported these findings, showing a greater negative influence of TNFα on the passaged pellet cultures compared to the unpassaged cells and MCI constructs. This study demonstrated the negative influence of TNFα on chondrogenesis in a chondrocyte spheroid culture and cartilage fragment model. Passaged chondrocytes are more sensitive to cytokine influences compared to non-passaged cells and chondrons. This suggests that MCI may have superior regeneration potential in osteoarthritic conditions compared to ACT. Further investigations are necessary for the translation of these findings into clinical practice.

PMID: 38534390

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