Administrations of peripheral blood CD34-positive cells contribute to medial collateral ligament healing via vasculogenesis.

Tei K, Matsumoto T, Mifune Y, Ishida K, Sasaki K, Shoji T, Kubo S, Kawamoto A, Asahara T, Kurosaka M, Kuroda R
Source: Stem Cells
Publication Date: (2008)
Issue: 26(3): 819-30
Research Area:
Immunotherapy / Hematology
Basic Research
Cells used in publication:
CD34+ cell, human
Species: human
Tissue Origin: blood
Mononuclear, peripheral blood, human
Species: human
Tissue Origin: blood
Neoangiogenesis is a key process in the initial phase of ligament healing. Adult human circulating CD34+ cells, an endothelial/hematopoietic progenitor-enriched cell population, have been reported to contribute to neoangiogenesis; however, the therapeutic potential of CD34+ cells for ligament healing is still unclear. Therefore, we performed a series of experiments to test our hypothesis that ligament healing is supported by CD34+ cells via vasculogenesis. Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor-mobilized peripheral blood (GM-PB) CD34+ cells with atelocollagen (CD34+ group), GM-PB mononuclear cells (MNCs) with atelocollagen (MNC group), or atelocollagen alone (control group) was locally transplanted after the creation of medial collateral ligament injury in immunodeficient rats. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunohistochemical staining at the injury site demonstrated that molecular and histological expression of human-specific markers for endothelial cells was higher in the CD34+ group compared with the other groups at week 1. Endogenous effect, assessed by capillary density and mRNA expression of vascular endothelial growth factor, was significantly higher in CD34+ cell group than the other groups. In addition to the observation that, as assessed by real-time RT-PCR, gene expression of ligament-specific marker was significantly higher in the CD34+ group than in the other groups, ligament healing assessed by macroscopic, histological, and biomechanical examination was significantly enhanced by CD34+ cell transplantation compared with the other groups. Our data strongly suggest that local transplantation of circulating human CD34+ cells may augment the ligament healing process by promoting a favorable environment through neovascularization.