Prospective evaluation of serum biomarker levels and cartilage repair by autologous chondrocyte transplantation and subchondral drilling in a canine model
- Equal contributors
1 Bone and Joint Research Laboratory, Department of Veterinary Bioscience and Public Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Kanklongchonpratan Road, Chiang Mai, 50100, Thailand
2 Thailand Excellence Centre for Tissue Engineering, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Suthep Road, Chiang Mai, 50200, Thailand
3 Musculoskeletal Research Laboratory, Department of Orthopedics, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Suthep Road, Chiang Mai, 50200, Thailand
4 Department of Companion Animals and Wild Life, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Kanklongchonpratan Road, Chiang Mai, 50100, Thailand
5 Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Suthep Road, Chiang Mai, 50200, Thailand
6 Department of Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Suthep Road, Chiang Mai, 50200, Thailand
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009, 11:R78 doi:10.1186/ar2709
See related editorial by Gomoll, http://arthritis-research.com/content/11/4/118Published: 26 May 2009
The purpose of this study was to evaluate serum chondroitin sulfate (CS) and hyaluronic acid (HA) levels and the capability of cartilage repair of full-thickness cartilage defects after treatment with two different fundamental surgical techniques: autologous chondrocyte transplantation (AC) and subchondral drilling (SD).
A 4-mm-diameter full-thickness cartilage defect was created in each of 10 skeletally mature male outbred dogs. The dogs were randomly separated into two groups. Groups A and B were treated with AC and SD, respectively. An evaluation was made at the 24th week of the experiment. Serum was analyzed prospectively – preoperatively and at 6-week intervals – for CS and HA levels by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and ELISA-based assays, respectively.
The cartilage repair assessment score (median ± standard deviation) of group A (9.5 ± 2.5) was significantly higher than that of group B (2.5 ± 1.3) (P < 0.05). Group A also demonstrated a better quality of hyaline-like cartilage repair. Prospective analysis of serum WF6 and HA levels between the two groups did not show any significant difference. Serum WF6 levels at the 24th week of the experiment had a negative correlation (r = -0.69, P < 0.05) with the cartilage repair assessment score, whereas serum HA levels tended to correlate positively (r = 0.46, 0.1 <P < 0.05).
AC treatment provides superior results to SD treatment, according to morphology, histology, and cartilage marker levels. AC treatment demonstrated a smoother surface, less fissure, better border integration, and a more reliable outcome of repairing cartilage. Moreover, a decreasing level of serum WF6, which correlated with good quality of the repairing tissue at the end of the follow-up period, was found predominantly in the AC group. Serum WF6 therefore should be further explored as a sensitive marker for the noninvasive therapeutic evaluation of cartilage repair procedures.