J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2021 Apr 12.doi: 10.2106/JBJS.20.02055.
Background: Connective tissue progenitors (CTPs) resident in native tissues serve as biological building blocks in tissue repair and remodeling processes. Methods for analysis and reporting on CTP quantity and quality are essential for defining optimal cell sources and donor characteristics and the impact of cell processing methods for cell therapy applications. The present study examines the influence of donor characteristics and cell concentration (nucleated cells/mL) on CTP prevalence (CTPs/million nucleated cells) and CTP concentration (CTPs/mL) in bone marrow aspirates (BMAs).
Methods: Iliac crest bone marrow was aspirated from 436 patients during elective total knee or hip arthroplasty. Bone marrow-derived nucleated cells were plated at a density of 1.19 × 105 cells/cm2. Colony-forming unit analysis was performed on day 6.
Results: Large variation was seen between donors. Age (p < 0.05) and cell concentration (p < 0.001) significantly influenced CTP prevalence and CTP concentration. For every 1-year increase in age, the odds of having at least an average CTP prevalence and CTP concentration decreased by 1.5% and 1.6%, respectively. For every 1 million cells/mL increase in cell concentration, the odds of having at least an average CTP prevalence and CTP concentration increased by 2.2% and 7.9%, respectively. Sex, race, body mass index (BMI), and the presence of osteoporosis did not influence CTP prevalence or CTP concentration.
Conclusions: BMA-derived CTPs were obtained from all patient groups. CTP prevalence and CTP concentration decreased with age. Cell concentration decreased with age and positively correlated with total CTP prevalence and CTP concentration. The mean CTP concentration in patients >60 years of age was a third of the CTP concentration in patients <30 years of age.
Clinical relevance: Proper BMA techniques are necessary to obtain a high-quality yield and composition of cells and CTPs. The reduced CTP concentration and CTP prevalence in the elderly may be mitigated by the use of cell processing methods that increase CTP concentration and CTP prevalence (e.g., by removing red blood cells, serum, and non-CTPs or by increasing aspirate volumes). Cell concentration in the BMA can be measured at the point of care and is an appropriate initial assessment of the quality of BMA.