FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology 2011 OCT
Chondrogenesis by chemotactic homing of synovium, bone marrow, and adipose stem cells in vitro.
Cell transplantation has been well explored for cartilage regeneration. We recently showed that the entire articular surface of a synovial joint can regenerate by endogenous cell homing and without cell transplantation. However, the sources of endogenous cells that regenerate articular cartilage remain elusive. Here, we studied whether cytokines not only chemotactically recruit adipose stem cells (ASCs), mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), and synovium stem cells (SSCs) but also induce chondrogenesis of the recruited cells. Recombinant human transforming growth factor-$3 (TGF-$3; 100 ng) and/or recombinant human stromal derived factor-1$ (SDF-1$; 100 ng) was control released into an acellular collagen sponge cube with underlying ASCs, MSCs, or SSCs in monolayer culture. Although all cell types randomly migrated into the acellular collagen sponge cube, TGF-$3 and/or SDF-1$ recruited significantly more cells than the cytokine-free control group. In 6 wk, TGF-$3 alone recruited substantial numbers of ASCs (558±65) and MSCs (302±52), whereas codelivery of TGF-$3 and SDF-1$ was particularly chemotactic to SSCs (400±120). Proliferation of the recruited cells accounted for some, but far from all, of the observed cellularity. TGF-$3 and SDF-1$ codelivery induced significantly higher aggrecan gene expression than the cytokine-free group for ASCs, MSCs, and SSCs. Type II collagen gene expression was also significantly higher for ASCs and SSCs by SDF-1 and TGF-$3 codelivery. Remarkably, the expression of aggrecan and type II collagen was detected among all cell types. Thus, homing of multiple stem/progenitor cell populations may potentially serve as an alternative or adjunctive approach to cell transplantation for cartilage regeneration.