Regular Article

Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 352, Issue 3, pp 509-521

Tenogenic differentiation of equine adipose-tissue-derived stem cells under the influence of tensile strain, growth differentiation factors and various oxygen tensions

  • Oksana RaabeAffiliated withInstitute of Veterinary Anatomy, Histology, and Embryology, Justus-Liebig University of Giessen Email author 
  • , K. ShellAffiliated withInstitute of Veterinary Anatomy, Histology, and Embryology, Justus-Liebig University of Giessen
  • , D. FietzAffiliated withInstitute of Veterinary Anatomy, Histology, and Embryology, Justus-Liebig University of Giessen
  • , C. FreitagAffiliated withDepartment of Mechanical Engineering, University of Siegen
  • , A. OhrndorfAffiliated withDepartment of Mechanical Engineering, University of Siegen
  • , H. J. ChristAffiliated withDepartment of Mechanical Engineering, University of Siegen
  • , S. WenischAffiliated withDepartment of Veterinary Surgery, Justus-Liebig University of Giessen
  • , S. ArnholdAffiliated withInstitute of Veterinary Anatomy, Histology, and Embryology, Justus-Liebig University of Giessen

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Abstract

Mesenchymal stem cells have become extremely interesting for regenerative medicine and tissue engineering in the horse. Stem cell therapy has been proven to be a powerful and successful instrument, in particular for the healing of tendon lesions. We pre-differentiated equine adipose-tissue-derived stem cells (ASCs) in a collagen I gel scaffold by applying tensile strain, growth differentiation factors (GDFs) and various oxygen tensions in order to determine the optimal conditions for in vitro differentiation toward the tenogenic lineage. We compared the influence of 3% versus 21% oxygen tension, the use of GDF 5, GDF 6 and GDF 7 and the application of uniaxial tensile strain versus no mechanical stimulation on differentiation results as evaluated by cell morphology and by the expression of the tendon-relevant genes collagen I, collagen III, cartilage oligomeric matrix protein and scleraxis. The best results were obtained with an oxygen tension of 21%, tensile stimulation and supplementation with GDF 5 or GDF 7. This approach raises the hope that the in vivo application of pre-differentiated stem cells will improve healing and recovery time in comparison with treatment involving undifferentiated stem cells.

Keywords

Adipose-tissue-derived stem cells Tenogenic differentiation Mechanical stimulation Growth differentiation factors Oxygen tension Equine