Enhanced cell-induced articular cartilage regeneration by chondrons; the influence of joint damage and harvest site

L.A. Vonk, T.S. de Windt, A.H.M. Kragten, M. Beekhuizen, S.C. Mastbergen, W.J.A. Dhert, F.P.J.G. Lafeber, L.B. Creemers, Daniël B.F. Saris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Interactions between chondrocytes and their native pericellular matrix provide optimal circumstances for regeneration of cartilage. However, cartilage diseases such as osteoarthritis change the pericellular matrix, causing doubt to them as a cell source for autologous cell therapy.
Methods: Chondrons and chondrocytes were isolated from stifle joints of goats in which cartilage damage was surgically induced in the right knee. After 4 weeks of regeneration culture, DNA content and proteoglycan and collagen content and release were determined.
Results: The cartilage regenerated by chondrons isolated from the damaged joint contained less proteoglycans and collagen compared to chondrons from the same harvest site in the nonoperated knee (P < 0.01). Besides, chondrons still reflected whether they were isolated from a damaged joint, even if they where isolated from the opposing or adjacent condyle. Although chondrocytes did not reflect this diseased status of the joint, chondrons always outperformed chondrocytes, even when isolated from the damaged joints (P < 0.0001). Besides increased cartilage production, the chondrons showed less collagenase activity compared to the chondrocytes.
Conclusion: Chondrons still outperform chondrocytes when they were isolated from a damaged joint and they might be a superior cell source for articular cartilage repair and cell-induced cartilage formation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1910-1917
JournalOsteoarthritis and cartilage
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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