Cryopreservation with dimethyl sulfoxide sustains partially the biological function of osteochondral tissue

Journal article


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Publication Details

Author list: Sckell A
Publisher: Elsevier: 12 months
Publication year: 2003
Volume number: 33
Issue number: 3
Start page: 352
End page: 361
Number of pages: 10
ISSN: 8756-3282
Languages: English-Great Britain (EN-GB)


The clinical routine use of bone allograft transplants dates back to the
discovery that grafts devitalized by freezing bear a reduced
antigenicity. Graft failures, caused by a host versus graft reaction,
however, remain a clinical problem. Previous investigations on
pancreatic islet allografts revealed improved survival and biological
function when fast cryopreservation (-70°C/min) was performed in the
presence of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO). The aim of this study was to
determine the effect of fast freezing using DMSO on the biological
function of osteochondral tissues. Organ culture was performed with
neonatal femora of mice, untreated, rapidly frozen (-70°C/min) with
DMSO, or frozen without DMSO. After the culture, tissue morphology,
cellular proliferation, osteoblast function, osteoclasts, and the
presence of antigen-presenting cells were investigated. In untreated
control femora histology appeared normal and proliferating and
collagen-synthesizing osteoblasts, osteoclasts, and B-cells and
macrophages were present. In frozen femora (with and without DMSO) a
disintegration of the periosteum and the epiphyseal growth plate were
observed and no active osteoblasts could be detected. Osteoclasts were
partially detached from the bone surface. Cell proliferation was fully
blocked in femora frozen in the absence of DMSO, while freezing in the
presence of DMSO preserved cell proliferation in the medullary canal.
The proliferating cells do not express epitopes present on the cells of
the B-cell or macrophage lineages. Although the biological function of
osteoblasts and osteoclasts was lost upon freezing of osteochondral
tissue, DMSO included in freezing protocols preserves some residual cell
viability which may be of importance for early graft revascularization
as has been previously demonstrated by our group. © 2003 Elsevier Inc.
All rights reserved.


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