MATERIALS AND METHODS: Human adipose-derived stem cells at passage 4 were evaluated by flow cytometry to examine the expression of surface markers. These adipose-derived stem cells were tested for adipogenic and osteogenic differentiation capacity. Ribonucleic acid was extracted from the cells for quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis to determine the expression levels of chondrogenic genes after chondrogenic induction.
RESULTS: Human adipose-derived stem cells were strongly positive for the mesenchymal markers CD90, CD73, CD44, CD9, and histocompatibility antigen and successfully differentiated into adipogenic and osteogenic lineages. The human adipose-derived stem cells aggregated and formed a dense matrix after chondrogenic induction. The expression of chondrogenic genes (collagen type II, aggrecan core protein, collagen type XI, COMP, and ELASTIN) was significantly higher after the first week of induction. However, a significantly elevated expression of collagen type X was observed after three weeks of chondrogenic induction.
CONCLUSION: Human adipose-derived stem cells retain stem cell characteristics after expansion in culture to passage 4 and serve as a feasible source of cells for cartilage regeneration. Chondrogenesis in human adipose-derived stem cells was most prominent after one week of chondrogenic induction.
METHODS: In this study, we investigated the response of cartilage to the trauma sustained during extraction and determined the time needed for the cartilage to stabilize. Explants were extracted aseptically from bovine metacarpal-phalangeal joints and cultured for up to 17 days.
RESULTS: The cell viability, cell number, proteoglycan content, and collagen content of the harvested explants were analyzed at 0, 2, 10, and 17 days after explantation. A high percentage of the cartilage explants were found to be viable. The cell density initially increased significantly but stabilized after two days. The proteoglycan content decreased gradually over time, but it did not decrease to a significant level due to leakage through the distorted peripheral collagen network and into the bathing medium. The collagen content remained stable for most of the culture period until it dropped abruptly on day 17.
CONCLUSION: Overall, the tested cartilage explants were sustainable over long-term culture. They were most stable from day 2 to day 10. The degradation of the collagen on day 17 did not reach diseased levels, but it indicated the potential of the cultures to develop into degenerated cartilage. These findings have implications for the application of cartilage explants in pathophysiological fields.
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