Autologous Dedifferentiated Osteogenic Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells Promote Bone Formation in a Rabbit Model of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction versus Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells

Published:January 27, 2022DOI:


      This study aimed to verify whether transplantation of dedifferentiated osteogenic bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (De-BMSCs) at the tendon–bone interface could result in more bone formation than BMSC transplantation in anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction.


      BMSCs from femur and tibia of New Zealand White rabbit were subjected to osteogenic induction and then cultured in osteogenic factor-free medium; the obtained cell population was termed De-BMSCs. Bilateral ACL reconstruction was performed in 48 adult rabbits. Three groups were established: control group with alginate gel injection, BMSCs group with the BMSCs injection, and De-BMSCs group with the De-BMSCs injection. At week 4 and 12 postoperatively, tendon–bone healing by histologic staining, micro-computed tomography examination, and biomechanical test were evaluated.


      The expression of α1 chain of type I collagen, osteocalcin, and osteopontin at the tendon–bone interface in the De-BMSCs group was greater than in the control or BMSCs group. The bone volume/total volume by micro-computed tomography scan was significantly greater in the De-BMSCs group than that in the control group (P = .013) or BMSCs group (P = .045) at 4 weeks, and greater than that in the control group (P = .014) or BMSCs group (P = .017) at 12 weeks. The tunnel area was significantly smaller in the De-BMSCs group than in the control group (P = .013) or BMSCs group (P = .044) at 12 weeks. The failure load and stiffness in De-BMSCs group were both significantly enhanced at 4 and 12 weeks than control group or De-BMSCs group.


      De-BMSCs transplantation can promote bone formation at the tendon–bone interface better than BMSCs transplantation in ACL reconstruction and increase the early biomechanical strength of the reconstructed ACL

      Clinical relevance

      De-BMSCs transplantation is a potential choice for enhancing early bone formation in the tunnel in ACL reconstruction.
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