Ling Wu - Trophic Effects of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Chondrocyte Co-Cultures are Independent of Culture Conditions and Cell Sources

Ling Wu, Henk-Jan Prins, Marco N. Helder, Clemens A. van Blitterswijk, and Marcel Karperien

Tissue Engineering: Part A 2012

Abstract

Earlier, we have shown that the increased cartilage production in pellet co-cultures of chondrocytes and bone
marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) is due to a trophic role of the MSC in stimulating chondrocyte
proliferation and matrix production rather than MSCs actively undergoing chondrogenic differentiation.
These studies were performed in a culture medium that was not compatible with the chondrogenic differentiation
of MSCs. In this study, we tested whether the trophic role of the MSCs is dependent on culturing co-culture
pellets in a medium that is compatible with the chondrogenic differentiation of MSCs. In addition, we investigated
whether the trophic role of the MSCs is dependent on their origins or is a more general characteristic of
MSCs. Human BM-MSCs and bovine primary chondrocytes were co-cultured in a medium that was compatible
with the chondrogenic differentiation of MSCs. Enhanced matrix production was confirmed by glycosaminoglycans
(GAG) quantification. A species-specific quantitative polymerase chain reaction demonstrated that the
cartilage matrix was mainly of bovine origin, indicative of a lack of the chondrogenic differentiation of MSCs. In
addition, pellet co-cultures were overgrown by bovine cells over time. To test the influence of origin on MSCs’
trophic effects, the MSCs isolated from adipose tissue and the synovial membrane were co-cultured with human
primary chondrocytes, and their activity was compared with BM-MSCs, which served as control. GAG quantification
again confirmed increased cartilage matrix production, irrespective of the source of the MSCs. READ MORE...