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Identification, Characterization, and Utilization of Adult Meniscal Progenitor Cells

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Technical Report,01 Sep 2013,31 Aug 2017

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Harvard University Boston United States

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Meniscal injuries are the most common traumatic leg injuries, accounting for over half of the knee arthroscopies performed each year. Damaged menisci rarely regain normal structural integrity or mechanical strength, and surgical repair cannot reliably prevent the degenerative changes that occur post injury and presage the development of knee osteoarthritis OA. New treatments centered on the stemprogenitor cell population resident within the adult meniscus will be key to derailing the connection between acute meniscal injury and post-traumatic knee OA. Here we combine mouse genetics with molecular and cell biology to develop a profile of repair cells in the adult meniscus, track meniscal stemprogenitor cell MSPC behavior within meniscus as function of age, and assess the contribution of resident MSPCs to repair after meniscal injury. During the research period we made significant progress toward our goals by establishing a standard protocol for harvesting MSPCs from 8 week, 6 month and 1-year old mouse menisci. MSPCs grow as colonies, express stem cell and meniscal gene signature markers found in adult human meniscus, and can be successfully passaged. We also piloted a novel mouse meniscal tear injury model, and are now ready to use this technique to examine the role of meniscal stem cells in injury repair.

Subject Categories:

  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Anatomy and Physiology

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