Author(s): Thornemo M, Tallheden T, Sjogren Jansson E, Larsson A, Lovstedt K,
Abstract Share this page
Abstract The aim of the present study was to identify and characterize progenitor properties of human articular chondrocytes selected by using agarose suspension culture. In this chondrogenic selective culture condition, about 3.6\% of seeded surplus chondrocytes from patients undergoing articular chondrocyte transplantation proliferated and formed cell clusters after 6 weeks. Phase-contrast microscopy and transmission electron microscopy revealed four different types of cell clusters differing in cellular content and matrix production. Based on their morphological features, they were named the homogenous (H), the homogenous matrix (HM), the differentiated matrix (DM) and the differentiated (D) cell clusters. All cell clusters showed positive safranin O staining, and matrix was positive for antibodies detecting type II collagen and aggrecan. The clusters were further demonstrated to express the genes for fibroblast growth factor receptor 3, type IIA collagen and type IIB collagen, while type X collagen was not expressed. After subcloning, the H and HM clusters demonstrated the best proliferative capacity. Chondrocytes from these two cell clusters also showed phenotypic plasticity in chondrogenic, adipogenic as well as osteogenic assays. This study demonstrates that existing subpopulations of cells with chondroprogenitor properties can be isolated from human adult articular cartilage using agarose suspension cultures.
This article was published in Cells Tissues Organs
and referenced in Rheumatology: Current Research