Cervical motion preservation using mesenchymal progenitor cells and pentosan polysulfate, a novel chondrogenic agent: preliminary study in an ovine model.

Tony Goldschlager, Peter Ghosh, Andrew Zannettino, Stan Gronthos, Jeffrey Victor Rosenfeld, Silviu Itescu, Graham Jenkin

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22 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECT: There is an unmet need for a procedure that could generate a biological disc substitute while at the same time preserving the normal surgical practice of achieving anterior cervical decompression. The objective of the present study was to test the hypothesis that adult allogeneic mesenchymal progenitor cells (MPCs) formulated with a chondrogenic agent could synthesize a cartilaginous matrix when implanted into a biodegradable carrier and cage, and over time, might serve as a dynamic interbody spacer following anterior cervical discectomy (ACD). METHODS: Eighteen ewes were divided randomly into 3 groups of 6 animals. Each animal was subjected to C3-4 and C4-5 ACD followed by implantation of bioresorbable interbody cages and graft containment plates. The cage was packed with 1 of 3 implants. In Group A, the implant was Gelfoam sponge only. In Group B, the implant consisted of Gelfoam sponge with 1 million MPCs only. In Group C, the implant was Gelfoam sponge with 1 million MPCs formulated with the chondrogenic agent pentosan polysulfate (PPS). In each animal the cartilaginous endplates were retained intact at 1 level, and perforated in a standardized manner at the other level. Allogeneic ovine MPCs were derived from a single batch of immunoselected and culture-expanded MPCs isolated from bone marrow of outbred sheep (mixed stock). Radiological and histological measures were used to assess cartilage formation and the presence or absence of new bone formation. RESULTS: The MPCs with or without PPS were safe and well-tolerated in the ovine cervical spine. There was no significant difference between groups in the radiographic or histological outcome measures, regardless of whether endplates were perforated or retained intact. According to CT scans obtained at 3 months after the operation, new bone formation within the interbody space was observed in the Gelfoam only group (Group A) in 9 (75 ) of 12 interbody spaces, and 11 (92 ) of 12 ...
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 8
Number of pages8
JournalNeurosurgical focus [electronic resource]
Issue number6 (E4)
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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