Anterior cruciate ligament- and hamstring tendon- derived cells: in vitro differential properties of cells involved in ACL reconstruction

C.A. Ghebes, C. Kelder, T. Schot, A.J.S. Renard, D.F.M. Pakvis, H. Fernandes, Daniël B.F. Saris (Corresponding Author)

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction involves the replacement of the torn ligament with a new graft, often a hamstring tendon (HT). Described as similar, the ACL and HT have intrinsic differences related to their distinct anatomical locations. From a cellular perspective, identifying these differences represents a step forward in the search for new cues that enhance recovery after the reconstruction. The purpose of this study was to characterize the phenotype and multilineage potential of ACL- and HT-derived cells. ACL- and HT-derived cells were isolated from tissue harvest from patients undergoing total knee arthroplasty (TKA) or ACL reconstruction. In total, three ACL and three HT donors were investigated. Cell morphology, self-renewal potential (CFU-F), surface marker profiling, expression of tendon/ligament-related markers (PCR) and multilineage potential were analysed for both cell types; both had fibroblast-like morphology and low self-renewal potential. No differences in the expression of tendon/ligament-related genes or a selected set of surface markers were observed between the two cell types. However, differences in their multilineage potential were observed: while ACL-derived cells showed a high potential to differentiate into chondrocytes and adipocytes, but not osteoblasts, HT-derived cells showed poor potential to form adipocytes, chondrocytes and osteoblasts. Our results demonstrated that HT-derived cells have low multilineage potential compared to ACL-derived cells, further highlighting the need for extrinsic signals to fully restore the function of the ACL upon reconstruction
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1077-1088
JournalJournal of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • METIS-312918
  • IR-98165


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