Mesenchymal stromal cell-derived extracellular matrix influences gene expression of chondrocytes

Shraddha Thakkar, Corina A. Ghebes, Maqsood Ahmed, Cindy Kelder, Clemens A. van Blitterswijk, Daniël Saris, Hugo A.M. Fernandes, Lorenzo Moroni

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Decellularized extracellular matrix (ECM) has recently gained a lot of interest as an instructive biomaterial for regenerative medicine applications. In this study, the ability of adult human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC)-derived ECM to rescue the phenotype of osteoarthritic (OA) chondrocytes and to further stimulate the differentiation of healthy (HL) chondrocytes was evaluated. ECMs were prepared by decellularizing hMSCs cultured in basic medium (BM) and chondrogenic medium (CM). The obtained ECM was then combined with a polymeric solution of Poly (ε-caprolactone) (PCL) dissolved in 1, 1, 1, 3, 3, 3-hexafluoro-2-propanol (HFIP) and electrospun meshes were fabricated. Electrospun ECM scaffolds were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and picrosirius red staining was used to confirm the presence of collagen. OA and HL chondrocytes were cultured on scaffolds containing hMSC ECM in BM or CM and compared to PCL electrospun scaffolds without ECM. Metabolic activity and chondrogenic gene expression were assessed by Alamar blue assay and quantitative PCR (qPCR) analysis, respectively. The ECM presence resulted in a significant difference in chondrocyte metabolic activity compared to PCL scaffolds alone. HL chondrocytes cultured for 21 days in chondrogenic medium on electrospun scaffolds containing hMSC ECM from BM showed a significant increase in collagen II and aggrecan expression compared to hMSC ECM from CM and PCL scaffolds without ECM incorporation. No significant influence of hMSC ECM presence on the chondrogenic signature of OA chondrocytes was found. The influence of decellularized hMSC ECM on HL chondrocytes suggests that hMSC-derived ECM scaffolds are promising candidates for cartilage tissue engineering applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number025003
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages11
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • n/a OA procedure


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