Stem Cells

P176 - Comparison of mesenchymal stem cells of the rabbit: superiority of synovium as a cell source for cartilage tissue engineering protocols



The aim of this study is to compare the properties of stem cells derived from different mesenchymal tissues of the rabbit and provide useful information for the selection of an optimal mesnchymal stem cell line for cartilage tissue regeneration protocols.

Methods and Materials

Ten female New Zealand white rabbits (12-20 week-old, 3.5-5.0kg) were used in the experiments. Bone marrow was drawn under anesthesia with a 15G bone marrow aspiration needle from the posterior superior iliac spine of the rabbit. Synovial membrane, patellar tendon, and medial collateral ligament of the knee was harvested along with adipose tissue following a lethal intramuscular Pentothal injection. Mesenchymal stem cells were isolated, proliferated and tested for osteogenic, adipogenic, and chondrogenic, differentiation. All cell lines underwent flow cytometry analysis with CD 73-PE, CD105-PE, CD90-PE, CD34-FITC and IgG1-PE for characterisation.


The expression of stem cell markers assessed with flow cytometry analysis showed that most cell lines were almost completely negative for the hematopoietic cell marker CD34 and positive for CD73, 90 and 105, which are markers of mesenchymal stem cells. During chondrogenesis in the monolayer culture, synovial cells were stained more extensively for proteoglycans and expressed twice the amount of aggrecan than cells from other sources. Furthermore, in the pellet culture system, synovial cells exhibited larger size of pellet with enhanced metachromatic staining of the extracellular matrix.


Our findings demonstrate that synovium-derived stem cells have the greatest chondrogenic potential among the examined rabbit mesenchymal tissue-derived cells. Synovial membrane derived stem cells could be the optimal cell source for tissue engineering applications of cartilage.