alexa Chondrogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells in three-dimensional alginate gels.
Genetics & Molecular Biology

Genetics & Molecular Biology

Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy

Author(s): Xu J

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We characterized the temporal changes in chondrogenic genes and developed a staging scheme for in vitro chondrogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) in three-dimensional (3D) alginate gels. A time-dependent accumulation of glycosaminoglycans, aggrecan, and type II collagen was observed in chondrogenic but not in basal constructs over 24 days. qRT-PCR demonstrated a largely characteristic temporal pattern of chondrogenic markers and provided a basis for staging the cellular phenotype into four stages. Stage I (days 0-6) was defined by collagen types I and VI, Sox 4, and BMP-2 showing peak expression levels. In stage II (days 6-12), gene expression for cartilage oligomeric matrix protein, HAPLN1, collagen type XI, and Sox 9 reached peak levels, while gene expression of matrilin 3, Ihh, Homeobox 7, chondroadherin, and WNT 11 peaked at stage III (days 12-18). Finally, cells in stage IV (days 18-24) attained peak levels of aggrecan; collagen IX, II, and X; osteocalcin; fibromodulin; PTHrP; and alkaline phosphatase. Gene profiles at stages III and IV were analogous to those in juvenile articular and adult nucleus pulposus chondrocytes. Gene ontology analyses also demonstrated a specific expression pattern of several putative novel marker genes. These data provide comprehensive insights on chondrogenesis of hMSCs in 3D gels. The derivation of this staging scheme may aid in defining maximally responsive time points for mechanobiological modulation of constructs to produce optimally engineered tissues.

This article was published in Tissue Eng Part A. and referenced in Journal of Stem Cell Research & Therapy

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