This study was to investigate the effects of insulin-transferrin-selenium (ITS) on the proliferation and quantitative gene expression of adult human nasal septum chondrocytes in monolayer culture expansion and the formation of tissue engineered hyaline cartilage. Effects of ITS on human nasal septum chondrocytes monolayer culture expansion and gene expression were evaluated in various culture media either added with 2% fetal bovine serum (FBS) or 1 ng/mL basic fibroblast growth factor plus 1 ng/mL transforming growth factor or both serum and growth factors supplementation in comparison with medium added with 10%FBS. Chondrocytes cultured in medium added with 2% fetal bovine serum and growth factors either supplemented with or without ITS were then mixed with pluronic F-127 hydrogel for in vivo tissue engineered cartilage formation in nude mice model. Engineered tissues were removed after 8 weeks of implantation and evaluated with histological staining, immunohistochemistry, transmission electron microscopy and quantitative gene expression analysis. ITS promoted human chondrocytes proliferation and reduced chondrocytes dedifferentiation in media supplemented with serum and growth factors. ITS with 2% FBS and growth factors provided 15-fold increased in chondrocytes number by the end of the culture period compared to the standard culture medium used in chondrocytes culture (medium added with 10% FBS). Engineered tissue resulted from ITS supplementation demonstrated higher quality of cartilage formation. In conclusion, our study has demonstrated the benefits of ITS supplementation in human chondrocytes monolayer culture and tissue engineering cartilage formation.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.