Background: Mature adipocyte-derived dedifferentiated fat (DFAT) cells possesses the ability to proliferate effectively and the potential to differentiate into multiple linages of mesenchymal tissue; similar to adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs). The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of DFAT cell transplantation on cartilage repair in a rat model of osteochondral defects. Methods: Full-thickness osteochondral defects were created in the knees of Sprague–Dawley rats bilaterally. Cartilage-like micromass pellets were prepared from green fluorescent protein (GFP)-labeled rat DFAT cells and subsequently transplanted into the affected right knee of these rats. Defects in the left knee were used as a control. Macroscopic and microscopic changes of treated and control defects were evaluated up to 12 weeks post-treatment with DFAT cells. To observe the transplanted cells, sectioned femurs were immunostained for GFP and type II collagen. Results: DFAT cells formed micromass pellets expressing characteristics of immature cartilage in vitro. In the DFAT cell-transplanted limbs, the defects were completely filled with white micromass pellets as early as 2 weeks post-treatment. These limbs became smooth at 4 weeks. Conversely, the defects in the control limbs were still not repaired by 4 weeks. Macroscopic ICRS scores at 2 and 4 weeks were significantly higher in the DFAT cells-transplanted limbs compared to those of the control limbs. The modified O'Driscol histological scores for the DFAT cell-transplanted limbs were significantly higher than those of the control limbs at corresponding time points. GFP-positive DAFT cells were detected in the transplanted area at 2 weeks but hardly visible at 12 weeks post-operation. Conclusions: Transplantation of DFAT cell-derived micromass pellets contribute to cartilage repair in a rat osteochondral defect model. DFAT cell transplantation may be a viable therapeutic strategy for the repair of osteochondral injuries.
Shimizu, M., Matsumoto, T., Kikuta, S., Ohtaki, M., Kano, K., Taniguchi, H., … Tokuhashi, Y. (2018). Transplantation of dedifferentiated fat cell-derived micromass pellets contributed to cartilage repair in the rat osteochondral defect model. Journal of Orthopaedic Science, 23(4), 688–696. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jos.2018.03.001