Over-expression of VEGF in marrow stromal cells promotes angiogenesis in rats with cerebral infarction via the synergistic effects of VEGF and Ang-2
BACKGROUND The aim of this study was to determine if anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction by remnant preservation promotes cell proliferation, vascularization, proprioception recovery, and improved biomechanical properties of the tendon grafts. MATERIAL AND METHODS 75 New Zealand rabbits were randomly assigned into the control group (group A), conventional ACL reconstruction group (group B), ACL reconstruction using remnant preservation and graft through remnant sleeve technique group (group C), and ACL reconstruction using remnant preservation and remnant tensioning technique group (group D). The remnant and healing of tendon grafts in groups C and D were observed at 3, 6, and 12 weeks after surgery, and the mRNA expression levels of VEGF, NT-3 and GAP-43 in ACL (group A) or tendon graft samples (groups B, C, and D) were determined by real-time PCR. Tendon graft cell count, microvessel density (MVD), and proprioceptors were determined by H&E staining, CD34, and S-100 immunohistochemical staining. The biomechanical properties of the tendon graft at week 12 in groups B, C, and D were examined by using a tensile strength test. RESULTS Remnant and tendon grafts were not healed at 3, 6, and 12 weeks after the operation in groups C and D. VEGF, NT-3, and GAP-43 mRNA expressions in groups B, C, and D were higher than those in group A (P<0.05), but no significant difference was observed between groups B, C, and D (P>0.05). Furthermore, tendon graft cell count, MVD, proprioception, and biomechanical properties showed no significant differences (P>0.05) among groups B, C, and D at various time points. CONCLUSIONS There was no significant difference in cell proliferation, vascularization, proprioception recovery, or biomechanical properties of the tendon grafts between remnant-preserving and conventional ACL reconstruction methods.