JOURNAL ARTICLE

[An experimental study on treatment of steroid-associated femoral head necrosis with simvastatin and BMSCs transplantation]

Jianping Yang, Liming Wang, Yan Xu, Jinsong Wang, Yan Wang
Chinese Journal of Reparative and Reconstructive Surgery 2008, 22 (3): 290-4
18396704

OBJECTIVE: To approach the possibility of combination of simvastatin and BMSCs transplantation for steroid-associated osteonecrosis of femoral head.

METHODS: The BMSCs harvested from 24 rabbits were prepared for cell suspension at a concentration of 1 x 107/mL, and combined with gelatin sponge. Seventy New Zealand white rabbits received one intravenous injection of lipopolysaccharide (10 microg/kg). After 24 hours, three injections of 20 mg/kg of methylprednisolone were given intramuscularly at a time interval of 24 hours. Forty-eight rabbits diagnosed as having femoral head necrosis by MRI were divided into 4 groups randomly, group A: no treatment; group B: only decompression; group C: decompression and BMSCs transplantation; and group D: simvastatin drench (10 mg/kg.d) decompression and BMSCs transplantation. The general information of animals were recorded; after 4 and 8 weeks of operation, 6 rabbits of each group were chosen randomly to do MRI scan, and femoral heads were harvested to do histopathology and scanning electron microscope examination.

RESULTS: After 8 weeks, rabbits became more active than before treatment, and walking way became normal gradually in groups C and D. Four weeks after operation, the MRI low signal region of all groups had no obvious changes, but 8 weeks later, the necrosis signal region of group A magnified while it reduced obviously in group D. Histopathological observation: 4 weeks after operation, diffuse presence of empty lacunae and pyknotic nuclei of osteocytes were found in the trabeculae, and few newborn micrangium could been seen in group A; lots of empty lacunae and a small quantity of newborn micrangium could been found in group B; and large amounts of osteoblats and newborn micrangium were found around the necrosis regions in groups C and D. The positive ratio of empty lacunae and microvessel density in group D were 19.30 +/- 1.52 and 7.08 +/- 1.09, showing significant difference compared with other groups (P < 0.05). After 8 weeks of treatment, the bone trabecula collapsed in many regions in group A; there was fibra callus formation along the decompression channel in group B; few empty lacunae was in the bone trabecular, but the shape of marrow cavity was not normal in group C; and it showed almost normal appearance in group D. The positive ratio of empty lacunae and microvessel density in group D were 11.31 +/- 1.28 and 12.37 +/- 1.32, showing significant differences compared with other groups (P < 0.05), meanwhile, showing significant difference compared with that of 4 weeks after operation(P < 0.05). Scanning electron microscope: 8 weeks after operation, the bone trabecula collapsed in many regions, and few osteoblasts could be found on the surface, a great quantity of fat cells cumulated in the bone marrow in group A; cracked bone trabecula could be found occasionally in group B; the density of bone trabecula was lower than the normal in group C; and the shape of the marrow cavity and the density of bone trabecula were similar to the normal in group D.

CONCLUSION: Simvastatin can promote the differentiation of osteocyte and vascular endothelial cell from MSCs, the combination of simvastatin and marrow stem cells transplantation for the treatment of steroid-associated osteonecrosis of femoral head have good application prospects.

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