Indexed on: 31 May '12Published on: 31 May '12Published in: The Anatomical Record
For the application of bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) in cartilage tissue engineering, it is imperative to develop efficient strategies for their chondrogenic differentiation. In this study, the conditioned media derived from chondrocyte/scaffold constructs were used to direct chondrogenic differentiation of BMSCs. The porcine articular chondrocytes were seeded on the PGA/PLA scaffolds to form chondrocyte/scaffold constructs and were cultured to form engineered cartilage in vitro. The culture media were collected as conditioned media and used for chondrogenic induction of BMSC pellets (experimental group, Exp.). The chondrocyte pellets and BMSC pellets were cultured routinely as positive control (PC) and negative control (NC), respectively. After 4 weeks, the wet weight and GAG content in Exp. group and PC group were significantly higher than that in NC group. Histological and immunohistochemical analysis showed that cartilaginous tissue was formed with typical cartilage lacuna structure and positive staining of collagen Type II (Col II) in the peripheral area of the BMSC pellets in Exp. group. Gene expression of Sox9, Col II, and COMP in Exp. group and PC group were significantly higher than that in NC group. The growth factors in the conditioned media derived from human costal chondrocytes-scaffold constructs were tested by protein microassay. The conditioned media contained low levels of TGF-β1,2,3, IGF-1 and high levels of IGF-2, FGF-4, and IGFBP4,6, and so forth. The soluble factors derived from the engineered cartilage can induce chondrogenic differentiation of BMSCs independently. Many cytokines may function in chondrogenesis in a coordinated way.