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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16(9), 20731-20747; doi:10.3390/ijms160920731

Regeneration of Articular Cartilage in Lizard Knee from Resident Stem/Progenitor Cells

Comparative Histolab and Department of Bigea, University of Bologna, via Selmi 3, 40126 Bologna, Italy
Academic Editor: Francesc Cebrià
Received: 13 May 2015 / Revised: 9 July 2015 / Accepted: 10 August 2015 / Published: 1 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular and Cellular Basis of Regeneration and Tissue Repair)
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Abstract

The epiphysis of femur and tibia in the lizard Podarcis muralis can extensively regenerate after injury. The process involves the articular cartilage and metaphyseal (growth) plate after damage. The secondary ossification center present between the articular cartilage and the growth plate is replaced by cartilaginous epiphyses after about one month of regeneration at high temperature. The present study analyzes the origin of the chondrogenic cells from putative stem cells located in the growing centers of the epiphyses. The study is carried out using immunocytochemistry for the detection of 5BrdU-labeled long retaining cells and for the localization of telomerase, an enzyme that indicates stemness. The observations show that putative stem cells retaining 5BrdU and positive for telomerase are present in the superficial articular cartilage and metaphyseal growth plate located in the epiphyses. This observation suggests that these areas represent stem cell niches lasting for most of the lifetime of lizards. In healthy long bones of adult lizards, the addition of new chondrocytes from the stem cells population in the articular cartilage and the metaphyseal growth plate likely allows for slow, continuous longitudinal growth. When the knee is injured in the adult lizard, new populations of chondrocytes actively producing chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan are derived from these stem cells to allow for the formation of completely new cartilaginous epiphyses, possibly anticipating the re-formation of secondary centers in later stages. The study suggests that in this lizard species, the regenerative ability of the epiphyses is a pre-adaptation to the regeneration of the articular cartilage. View Full-Text
Keywords: lizard; knee; cartilage regeneration; immunocytochemistry; resident stem cells lizard; knee; cartilage regeneration; immunocytochemistry; resident stem cells
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Alibardi, L. Regeneration of Articular Cartilage in Lizard Knee from Resident Stem/Progenitor Cells. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16, 20731-20747.

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