Chondrogenic differentiation and three dimensional chondrogenesis of human adipose-derived stem cells induced by engineered cartilage-derived conditional media

Research paper by Hengyun Sun, Yu Liu, Ting Jiang, Xia Liu, Aijuan He, Jie Li, Wenjie Zhang, Wei Liu, Yilin Cao, Guangdong Zhou

Indexed on: 25 Jan '14Published on: 25 Jan '14Published in: Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine


Due to lack of optimal inductive protocols, how to effectively improve chondrogenesis of adiposederived stem cells (ASCs) is still a great challenge. Our previous studies demonstrated that the culture media derived from chondrocyte-scaffold constructs (conditional media) contained various soluble chondrogenic factors and were effective for directing chondrogenic differentiation of bone marrow stem cells. Nevertheless, it remains unclear whether the conditional media can induce ASCs towards chondrogenic differentiation, especially for three-dimensional (3D) cartilage formation in a preshaped scaffold. In this study, it demonstrated that the conditional media derived from chondrocyte-scaffold constructs could promote ASCs to differentiate into chondrocyte-like cells, with similar expression of type II collagen to those induced by chondrogenic growth factors. Moreover, the expression level of chondrocyte-specific genes, such as SOX9, type II collagen, and COMP, was even higher in conditional medium group (CM) than that in optimized chondrogenic growth factor group (GF), indicating that the conditional media can serve as an effective inducer for chondrogenic differentiation of ASCs. Most importantly, the conditional media could also induce ASC-scaffold constructs to form 3D cartilage-like tissue with typical lacunae structures and positive expression of cartilage specific matrices, even higher contents of GAG and type II collagen were achieved in CM group compared to GF group. The current study establishes a simple, but stable, efficient, and economical method for directing 3D cartilage formation of ASCs, a strategy that may be more closely applicable for repairing cartilage defects.