Cell kinetics of human nasal septal chondrocytes in vitro: Importance for cartilage grafting in otolaryngology

Anna Lavezzi, Mario Mantovani, Lorenzo Grillo Della Berta, Luigi Matturri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the field of reconstructive plastic surgery, grafts of autologous cartilage are sometimes used to replace damaged or pathologic tissues, particularly in the nose, ear, and trachea. However, this procedure is difficult to apply, especially because of the scarcity of donor sites. In this study, we have cultured and characterized human chondrocytes from human nasal septal cartilage biopsies. The proliferative activity was evaluated by incorporation of 3H-thymidine into deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) both under normal culture conditions and with different growth factors and serum concentration. Identification of chondrocytes in culture was performed with immunohistochemistry and production of matrix with specific histochemical indicators. We observed a significant increase of cell kinetics of differentiated chondrocytes, embedded with intense metachromatic matrix, in the presence of transforming growth factor beta, and low concentrations of fetal calf serum. Therefore, in suitable conditions, human chondrocytes obtained even from small specimens can produce in vitro considerable quantities of pure autologous cartilaginous tissue within a few days. This newly formed cartilage can be used as a grafting material in reconstructive surgery, particularly in otolaryngology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-370
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Otolaryngology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2002


  • Cartilage grafting
  • Cell culture
  • Cell kinetics
  • Chondrocyte

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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