Abstract: At present, due to the growing attention focused on the issue of tendon–bone healing, we carried out an animal study of the use of genetic intervention combined with cell transplantation for the promotion of this process. Here, the efficacy of bone marrow stromal cells infected with bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) on tendon–bone healing was determined. A eukaryotic expression vector containing the BMP-2 gene was constructed and bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (bMSCs) were infected with a lentivirus. Next, we examined the viability of the infected cells and the mRNA and protein levels of BMP-2-infected bMSCs. Gastrocnemius tendons, gastrocnemius tendons wrapped by bMSCs infected with the control virus (bMSCs+Lv-Control), and gastrocnemius tendons wrapped by bMSCs infected with the recombinant BMP-2 virus (bMSCs+Lv-BMP-2) were used to reconstruct the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in New Zealand white rabbits. Specimens from each group were harvested four and eight weeks postoperatively and evaluated using biomechanical and histological methods. The bMSCs were infected with the lentivirus at an efficiency close to 100%. The BMP-2 mRNA and protein levels in bMSCs were significantly increased after lentiviral infection. The bMSCs and BMP-2-infected bMSCs on the gastrocnemius tendon improved the biomechanical properties of the graft in the bone tunnel; specifically, bMSCs infected with BMP-2 had a positive effect on tendon–bone healing. In the four-week and eight-week groups, bMSCs+Lv-BMP-2 group exhibited significantly higher maximum loads of 29.3 ± 7.4 N and 45.5 ± 11.9 N, respectively, compared with the control group (19.9 ± 6.4 N and 21.9 ± 4.9 N) (P = 0.041 and P = 0.001, respectively). In the eight-week groups, the stiffness of the bMSCs+Lv-BMP-2 group (32.5 ± 7.3) was significantly higher than that of the bMSCs+Lv-Control group (22.8 ± 7.4) or control groups (12.4 ± 6.0) (p = 0.036 and 0.001, respectively). Based on the histological findings, there was an increased amount of perpendicular collagen fibers formed between the tendon and bone in the bMSCs+Lv-Control and bMSCs+Lv-BMP-2 group, compared with the gastrocnemius tendons. The proliferation of cartilage-like cells and the formation of fibrocartilage-like tissue were highest within the bone tunnels in the bMSCs+Lv-BMP-2 group. These results suggest that this lentivirus can be used to efficiently infect bMSCs with BMP-2. Furthermore, tendons wrapped by bMSCs+Lv-BMP-2 improved tendon–bone healing.
Keywords: tendon–bone healing; anterior cruciate ligament (ACL); reconstruction; bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells
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Dong, Y.; Zhang, Q.; Li, Y.; Jiang, J.; Chen, S. Enhancement of Tendon–Bone Healing for Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Reconstruction Using Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Infected with BMP-2. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13, 13605-13620.
Dong Y, Zhang Q, Li Y, Jiang J, Chen S. Enhancement of Tendon–Bone Healing for Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Reconstruction Using Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Infected with BMP-2. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2012; 13(10):13605-13620.
Dong, Yu; Zhang, Qingguo; Li, Yunxia; Jiang, Jia; Chen, Shiyi. 2012. "Enhancement of Tendon–Bone Healing for Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Reconstruction Using Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Infected with BMP-2." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 13, no. 10: 13605-13620.