MicroRNA-218 promotes early chondrogenesis of mesenchymal stem cells and inhibits later chondrocyte maturation

Song Chen, Zhenyu Xu, Jiahua Shao, Peiliang Fu, Haishan Wu
BMC Biotechnology 2019 January 15, 19 (1): 6

BACKGROUND: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) reportedly participate in the mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) chondrogenic differentiation regulation. We objected to examine how miR-218 regulate chondrogenic differentiation of synovium-derived MSCs (SDSCs) and the maturation of RCJ3.1C5.1 chondrocytes. SDSCs were sourced from the knee joint synovium of New Zealand white rabbits, and their multilineage differentiation potentials were examined. The level of miR-218 was measured during SDSC chondrogenic differentiation, together with determination of SDSCs chondrogenic markers and RCJ3.1C5.1 chondrocytes maturation markers expression level after transfection of miR-218 mimics/inhibitor.

RESULTS: miR-218 expression was notably upregulated in early chondrogenesis but mostly ceased during the maturation phases of chondrogenic differentiation in SDSCs. The transfection of miR-218 mimics notably enhanced SDSCs chondrocytes differentiation, as evidenced by augmented expressions of chondrogenic markers (SOX9, COL2A1, ACAN, GAG, and COMP) in terms of mRNA and protein level, and the inhibition of miR-218 yielded opposite resutls. Additionally, miR-218 overexpression substantially suppressed the expression of osteogenic markers (ALP, BSP, COL1A1, OCN and OPN) during the early stage of chondrogenesis while increasing that of chondrogenic markers (SOX9, COL2A1, ACAN, GAG and COMP). However, miR-218 mimics notably suppressed maturation markers (CMP, COL10A1, MMP-13 and VEGF) expression in RCJ3.1C5.18 chondrocytes, and the miR-218 inhibitor promoted the expression of these maturation markers. We proposed miR-218 plays a regulatory role on 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase (HPGD), which plays a key role in chondrogenic differentiation, and this finding indicates that miR-218 directly regulates HPGD expression in SDSCs.

CONCLUSION: Our study suggests that miR-218 contributes to early chondrogenesis while suppressing later chondrocyte maturation. The miR-218-HPGD pathway offers us a perspective into how SDSCs differentiate into chondrogenic cells.

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