JOURNAL ARTICLE

Chondrogenic differentiation of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells induced by acellular cartilage sheets

Ji Xin Xue, Yi Yi Gong, Guang Dong Zhou, Wei Liu, Yilin Cao, Wen Jie Zhang
Biomaterials 2012, 33 (24): 5832-40
22608213
Acellular cartilage sheets (ACSs) have been used as scaffolds for engineering cartilage with mature chondrocytes. In this study we investigated whether ACSs possess a chondrogenic induction activity that may benefit cartilage engineering with multipotent stem cells. Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) isolated from newborn pigs were expanded in vitro and seeded on ACSs that were then stacked layer-by-layer to form BMSC-ACS constructs. Cells seeded on polyglycolic acid/polylactic acid (PGA/PLA) scaffolds served as a control. After 4 weeks of culture with or without additional chondrogenic factors, constructs were subcutaneously implanted into nude mice for another 4 weeks. Cartilage-like tissues were formed after 4 weeks of culture. However, formation of cartilage with a typical lacunar structure was only observed in induced groups. RT-PCR showed that aggrecan, COMP, type II collagen and Sox9 were expressed in all groups except the non-induced BMSC-PGA/PLA group. At 4 weeks post-implantation, cartilage formation was achieved in the induced BMSC-ACS group and partial cartilage formation was achieved in the non-induced BMSC-ACS group, confirmed by safranin O staining, toluidine blue staining and type II collagen immunostaining. In addition, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay demonstrated the presence of transforming growth factor-β1, insulin-like growth factor-1 and bone morphogenic protein-2 in ACSs. These results indicate that ACSs possess a chondrogenic induction activity that promotes BMSC differentiation.

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