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Table 1 Cartilage-derived pluripotent cell-based therapies for joint cartilage repair

From: Expression and function of cartilage-derived pluripotent cells in joint development and repair

CartilageCellSourceSpeciesModelMode of actionStudy/evaluationIn vivo/in vitroResultConclusionYearAuthor
Hyaline cartilageAutologous chondroprogenitor cellsArticular cartilageEquine15 mm cartilage defects on the medial trochlear ridge of the femurA graft: autologous chondroprogenitor cells transplanted in a fibrin matrixLameness (pain), arthroscopic, radiographic, gross, histologic, and immunohistochemical analysesIn vivoImproved the amount of type II collagen and decreased central osteophyte formationHad significantly better repair tissue2015Frisbie et al. [44]
 ChondroprogenitorsArticular cartilageGoatA circular 6 mm defect in the lateral femoral condyleA graft: Chondro-Gide® membrane seeded with goat chondroprogenitorsImmunohistological and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analyses, routine histology and immunocytochemistry analyses, repair tissue gradingIn vivoPositive collagen type II and aggrecan labeling, repair scores for chondroprogenitors ranged from 7 (abnormal) to 10 (nearly normal)Formed a cartilage-like repair tissue2010Williams et al. [6]
 Chondroprogenitor cellsHyaline cartilageSheepGrowth plate defects at the margin of the medial aspect of the proximal tibiaeA graft: endochondrally ossifiying cartilage from the peripheral margin of the secondary center of ossification and the adjacent zone of Ranvier tissueRadiological assessment of longitudinal growth, histological analysisIn vivoEndochondral ossification continued and no shortening no deformity resultedSurvived and persisted as cartilaginous tissue but was unable to restore, repair or function as a growth plate1994Wirth et al. [45]
 Chondroprogenitor cellsArticular cartilageBovineThigh muscle of severe-combined immunodeficient (SCID) miceIntramuscular injectionCryosectioning and PCR analysesIn vivoExpressed sox9 and type II collagenSurvived but failed to create a robust cartilage pellet2014Marcus et al. [46]
MeniscusCartilage-derived progenitor cells (C-PCs)Knee articular cartilageHumanA radial tear in the inner anterior horn of the rat meniscusAn explant organ cultureTissue immunohistochemistry and staining, messenger RNA expression, cell surface marker, stem cell differentiation and western blot analysesIn vitroElevated sox9 expression, maintained lower expression of type X collagen, resisted cellular hypertrophy and terminal differentiation, mobilized in response to chemokine signaling SDF-1/CXCR4 axisHad the reparative ability to bridge and reintegrate torn meniscal fibrocartilage2019Jayasuriya et al. [47]
 Meniscus-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MMSCs)Medial and lateral menisciRabbitA wound with 1 mm diameter in the center of each meniscusAn explant organ culture and a graft: the Matrigel with cells used for implantation into nude rat skinHistochemistry, immunocytochemistry, real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and western blotting analysesIn vivo and in vitroA pronounced tendency to chondrogenic differentiation, homing traits, more formation of cartilage-related proteinsServed as an alternative cell therapy in repairing damaged meniscus2015Ding and Huang [19]
 Human meniscus stem/progenitor cells (hMeSPCs)MeniscusHumanThe removal of the anterior half of the rat medial meniscus and an experimental OA modelIntra-articular injectionEvaluation of multipotent differentiation potential, colony formation assay and expression analysis of meniscus-related genes, chemotaxis assay, cell labeling and detection, histology, transmission electron microscopy and immunostaining analysesIn vivoMore neo-tissue formation and better-defined shape but also resulted in more rounded cells and matured extracellular matrix, reduced expression of OA markers such as collagen I, collagen X, and hypoxia-inducible factor 2a (HIF-2a) but increased expression of collagen IIEnhanced the regeneration of injured meniscus through induced cell homing via the SDF-1/CXCR4 chemokine axis2014Shen et al. [18]
 Allogenous meniscus-derived stem cells (MeSCs)MeniscusRabbitThe removal of the anterior half of the rabbit medial meniscus and a rabbit early experimental OA modelIntra-articular injectionCell labeling and detection, radiographic evaluation, histology, immunohistochemistry, transmission electron microscopy, real-time PCR, biomechanical evaluationIn vivoDid not elicit immunological rejection, but promoted neo-tissue formation with better-defined shape and more matured extracellular matrix, further protected joint surface cartilage and maintained joint spaceEvoked a new strategy for articular cartilage protection and meniscus regeneration2013Shen et al. [17]
 Chondrocyte-derived progenitor cells (CDPCs)Knee articular cartilageHumanLarge knee cartilage defects (6–13 cm2) in 15 patientsA graft: a collagen type I/III scaffold seeded with the CDPCsClinical evaluation, MRI evaluation, histology, pain and functional evaluationIn vivoSignificantly improved IKDC and Lysholm scores, the presence of chondrocyte-like cells and hyaline cartilage-like structure and matrix, reduced knee pain and swelling, and disappeared locking sensationSupported the possibility of using in vitro the amplified CDPCs, for joint repair2016Jiang et al. [48]
TMJ condyleFibrocartilage stem cells (FCSCs)TMJ condyleRatA 2.5 mm perforation in the rabbit TMJ disc bilaterally and secondary OAIntra-articular injection of the Wnt inhibitor sclerostin (SOST)Histology, histomorphometry, and fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) analysesIn vivoSustained the FCSC pool, improved TMJ gross morphology and proteoglycan distribution, reduced joint swellingExploited endogenous FCSCs to regenerate and repair cartilage2016Embree et al. [22]