Transplanted osteoprogenitor cells derived from cultured bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) can be used to fabricate pedicled bone flaps.
Prospective, randomized experimental trials.
Basic science research laboratory.
Immunodeficient female NIH-Bg-Nu-Xid mice, aged 3 months.
The BMSCs were harvested from the long bones of C57Bl/6 transgenic mice carrying the type Iα(1) collagen–chloramphenicol acetyl transferase reporter gene construct; their numbers were expanded in tissue culture. Treated mice received BMSC transplantations around the common carotid artery and internal jugular vein, the aorta and its venae comitantes, or the saphenous artery and vein; control mice received a sham transplant in comparable recipient sites.
Main Outcome Measures
Mice underwent harvesting from 4 weeks to 2 years after transplantation. Transplants were evaluated via histological, immunohistochemical, and angiographic analyses.
Compared with the controls, which formed no bone, 32 of 37 BMSC-containing transplants formed a vascularized bone island that was perfused specifically and solely by its common carotid artery vascular source. Mature transplants consisted of well-developed lamellar, corticocancellous bone whose osteocytes were derived from the grafted BMSCs; hematopoietic tissue derived from the recipient mouse. Transplants formed as early as 4 weeks and remained stable in size as late as 108 weeks.
Bone marrow stromal cells can be used to create vascularized bone flaps in mice; these bone constructs are vascularized by their pedicle and therefore can potentially be transferred to a recipient site using microsurgical techniques. These findings provide proof of principle of an additional clinical application of BMSC transplantation techniques.