Electromagnetic fields enhance chondrogenesis of human adipose-derived stem cells in a chondrogenic microenvironment in vitro

Chung-Hwan Chen, Yi-Shan Lin, Yin-Chih Fu, Chih-Kuang Wang, Shun-Cheng Wu, Gwo-Jaw Wang, Rajalakshmanan Eswaramoorthy, Yan-Hsiung Wang, Chau-Zen Wang, Yao-Hsien Wang, Sung-Yen Lin, Je-Ken Chang, Mei-Ling Ho
Journal of Applied Physiology 2013 March 1, 114 (5): 647-55
We tested the hypothesis that electromagnetic field (EMF) stimulation enhances chondrogenesis in human adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) in a chondrogenic microenvironment. A two-dimensional hyaluronan (HA)-coated well (2D-HA) and a three-dimensional pellet culture system (3D-pellet) were used as chondrogenic microenvironments. The ADSCs were cultured in 2D-HA or 3D-pellet, and then treated with clinical-use pulse electromagnetic field (PEMF) or the innovative single-pulse electromagnetic field (SPEMF) stimulation. The cytotoxicity, cell viability, and chondrogenic and osteogenic differentiations were analyzed after PEMF or SPEMF treatment. The modules of PEMF and SPEMF stimulations used in this study did not cause cytotoxicity or alter cell viability in ADSCs. Both PEMF and SPEMF enhanced the chondrogenic gene expression (SOX-9, collagen type II, and aggrecan) of ADSCs cultured in 2D-HA and 3D-pellet. The expressions of bone matrix genes (osteocalcin and collagen type I) of ADSCs were not changed after SPEMF treatment in 2D-HA and 3D-pellet; however, they were enhanced by PEMF treatment. Both PEMF and SPEMF increased the cartilaginous matrix (sulfated glycosaminoglycan) deposition of ADSCs. However, PEMF treatment also increased mineralization of ADSCs, but SPEMF treatment did not. Both PEMF and SPEMF enhanced chondrogenic differentiation of ADSCs cultured in a chondrogenic microenvironment. SPEMF treatment enhanced ADSC chondrogenesis, but not osteogenesis, when the cells were cultured in a chondrogenic microenvironment. However, PEMF enhanced both osteogenesis and chondrogenesis under the same conditions. Thus the combination of a chondrogenic microenvironment with SPEMF stimulation can promote chondrogenic differentiation of ADSCs and may be applicable to articular cartilage tissue engineering.

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