Objective: To determine the effect of dissolved oxygen tension (DO) on the redifferentiation of dedifferentiated adult human nasal septum chondrocytes cultured as pellets. - Design: After isolation, human nasal chondrocytes were expanded in monolayer culture, which resulted in their dedifferentiation. Dedifferentiated cells were pelleted, transferred to a bioreactor and maintained for up to 21 days at 100% DO (21% oxygen), 25% DO (5.25% oxygen) or 5% DO (1% oxygen), which was controlled in the liquid phase. Redifferentiation was assessed by staining the extracellular matrix with safranin-O and by the immunolocalization of collagen types I, II, IX and of a fibroblast membrane marker (11-fibrau). In addition, glycosaminoglycans (GAG) and DNA content were determined spectrophotometrically. - Results: In monolayer culture, cells dedifferentiated and multiplied 90- to 100-fold. Cell pellets cultured in a bioreactor under conditions of low oxygen tension (25% DO or 5% DO) stained intensely for GAGs and for collagen type II, but very weakly for collagen type I. After 14 days of culturing, cell pellets maintained at 5% DO stained more intensely for collagen IX and more weakly for 11-fibrau than did those incubated at 25% DO. After 21 days of culturing the GAG content of cell pellets maintained at 5% DO was significantly greater than that of those incubated at 25% DO. Under air-saturated conditions (100% DO), the DNA and GAG contents of cell pellets decreased with time in culture. After 21 days of culturing, both parameters were substantially lower in cell pellets maintained at 100% DO than in those incubated at low oxygen tensions. The staining signals for collagen types II and IX were much weaker, and those for the markers of dedifferentiation (collagen type I and 11-fibrau) much stronger under air-saturated conditions than at low oxygen tensions. - Conclusion: These observations demonstrate that using the present set-up, low oxygen tension stimulates the redifferentiation of dedifferentiated adult human nasal chondrocytes in pellet cultures.
- Oxygen tension
- nasal septum chondrocytes