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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 6437658, 13 pages
Research Article

Efficiency of Human Epiphyseal Chondrocytes with Differential Replication Numbers for Cellular Therapy Products

1Department of Reproductive Biology, National Research Institute for Child Health and Development, Tokyo 157-8535, Japan
2Department of Orthopedic Surgery, National Research Institute for Child Health and Development, Tokyo 157-8535, Japan

Received 21 February 2016; Revised 14 August 2016; Accepted 15 August 2016

Academic Editor: Magali Cucchiarini

Copyright © 2016 Michiyo Nasu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The cell-based therapy for cartilage or bone requires a large number of cells; serial passages of chondrocytes are, therefore, needed. However, fates of expanded chondrocytes from extra fingers remain unclarified. The chondrocytes from human epiphyses morphologically changed from small polygonal cells to bipolar elongated spindle cells and to large polygonal cells with degeneration at early passages. Gene of type II collagen was expressed in the cells only at a primary culture (Passage 0) and Passage 1 (P1) cells. The nodules by implantation of P0 to P8 cells were composed of cartilage and perichondrium. The cartilage consisted of chondrocytes with round nuclei and type II collagen-positive matrix, and the perichondrium consisted of spindle cells with type I collage-positive matrix. The cartilage and perichondrium developed to bone with marrow cavity through enchondral ossification. Chondrogenesis and osteogenesis by epiphyseal chondrocytes depended on replication number in culture. It is noteworthy to take population doubling level in correlation with pharmaceutical efficacy into consideration when we use chondrocytes for cell-based therapies.