Treatment of Naturally Degenerated Canine Lumbosacral Intervertebral Discs with Autologous Mesenchymal Stromal Cells and Collagen Microcarriers: A Prospective Clinical Study
Ferguson, Stephen J.
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration is a frequent disease in modern societies and at its later stages is likely to cause chronic low back pain. Although many studies have been published, the available treatments for IVD degeneration fail to promote regeneration or even marginal repair of the IVD structure. In this study, we aimed to establish veterinary canine patients as a translational large animal model that recapitulates IVD degeneration that occurs in humans, and to investigate the suitability of intradiscal application of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC). Twenty client-owned dogs diagnosed with spontaneous degen-erative lumbosacral IVD and low back pain were included in the study. Autologous MSC were isolated from bone marrow and cultured for 2 weeks. Prior to injection, MSC were attached on collagen microcarriers for delivery, with or without TGF-b1 crosslinking. After decompressive spinal surgery, dogs received an intradiscal injection of MSC-microcarriers (n=11),MSC-TGF-b1-microcarriers (n=6) or microcarriers only (control,n=3). MSC-microcarriers were initially evaluated in vitro and ex vivo, to test cell chondrogenic potential and biomechanical properties of the microcarriers, respectively. Clinical performance and Pfirrmann grading were evaluated at 10 months after the injection by magnetic resonance imaging. MSC differentiated successfully in vitro towards chondrogenic phenotype and biomechanical tests showed no significant differences of IVD stiffness after microcarrier injection. In vivo injection was successful in all dogs, without any visible leakage, and clinical functioning was restored back to normality. However, postoperative Pfirrmann grade remained identical in all dogs, and formation of Schmorl’s nodes was detected in 45% of dogs. This side effect was reduced by halving the injection volume, which was then observed only in 11% of dogs. In conclusion, we observed marked clinical improvement in all groups, despite the formation of Schmorl’s nodes, but microcarriers and MSC failed to regenerate the structure of degenerated IVD. Show more
Journal / seriesCell Transplantation
Pages / Article No.
Subjectdegenerated intervertebral discs; canine model; mesenchymal stromal cells; prospective clinical study
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