The long-term success of massive osteochondral allografts depends not only on the incorporation of the osseous portion of the graft but also on the integrity of the transplanted articular cartilage. Osteochondral allografts are immunogenic, and, once an immune response is stimulated by exposure to donor cellular antigens, the cartilage becomes vulnerable to direct injury by cytotoxic antibodies or by lymphocytes, or to indirect injury by inflammatory mediators and enzymes induced by the immune response. To clarify the role of histocompatibility antigen-matching on the health of transplanted articular cartilage, we orthotopically implanted canine leukocyte antigen-matched and mismatched proximal osteochondral allografts of the radius, both fresh and cryopreserved, in beagles. Four groups of dogs received: (1) canine leukocyte antigen-mismatched frozen allografts, (2) canine leukocyte antigen-mismatched fresh allografts, (3) canine leukocyte antigen-matched fresh allografts, or (4) canine leukocyte antigen-matched frozen allografts. In twelve of the dogs, the contralateral leg was subjected to a sham operation, and in ten of the dogs, the proximal part of the radius was removed and replaced as an autogenous graft control. All animals were followed for eleven months after the operation and then were killed. The cartilage of the grafts was evaluated grossly, histologically, and biochemically. The biochemical analysis consisted of measurement of dry weight, content of glucosaminoglycan and hydroxyproline, and galactosamine-to-glucosamine ratios. Analyses of variance were used to study the effect of tissue antigen-matching and freezing on degradation of cartilage.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine