Potential role of pre-existing blood vessels for vascularization and mineralization of osteochondral grafts: an intravital microscopic study in mice.

Abstract

BACKGROUND The aim of this study was to develop an experimental model that allows to elude the potential role of the preexisting graft microvasculature for vascularization and mineralization of osteochondral grafts. ANIMALS AND METHODS For that purpose, the II-IV metatarsals of fetal DDY-mice known to be nonvascularized at day 16 of gestation (M16) but vascularized at day 18 (M18) were freshly transplanted into dorsal skin fold chambers of adult DDY mice. Using intravital microscopy angiogenesis, leukocyte-endothelium interaction and mineralization were assessed for 12 days. RESULTS Angiogenesis occurred at 32 hours in M18, but not before 57 hours in M16 (p = 0.002), with perfusion of these vessels at 42 hours (p = 0.005) and 65 hours (p = 0.1), respectively. Vessels reached a density three times as high as that of the recipient site at day 6, remaining constant until day 12 in M18, whereas in M16 vascular density increased from day 6 and reached that of M18 at day 12 (p = 0.04). Leukocyte-endothelium interaction showed sticker counts elevated by a factor of 4-5 in M18 as compared to M16. Mineralization of osteochondral grafts did not differ between M16 and M18, which significantly increased in both groups throughout the observation period. INTERPRETATION We propose the faster kinetics in the angiogenic response to M18 and the elevated counts of sticking leukocytes to rest on the potential of establishing end-to-end anastomoses (inosculation) of the vascularized graft with recipient vessels.

Cite this paper

@article{Rothenfluh2004PotentialRO, title={Potential role of pre-existing blood vessels for vascularization and mineralization of osteochondral grafts: an intravital microscopic study in mice.}, author={Dominique A Rothenfluh and Thomas J Demhartner and Christian R. Fraitzl and Marco Antonio G Cecchini and Reinhold Ganz and Michael Leunig}, journal={Acta orthopaedica Scandinavica}, year={2004}, volume={75 3}, pages={359-65} }