, Volume 36, Issue 5, pp 813-820
Date: 12 Feb 2008

Hydrostatic Pressure Enhances Chondrogenic Differentiation of Human Bone Marrow Stromal Cells in Osteochondrogenic Medium

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This study demonstrated the chondrogenic effect of hydrostatic pressure on human bone marrow stromal cells (MSCs) cultured in a mixed medium containing osteogenic and chondrogenic factors. MSCs seeded in type I collagen sponges were exposed to 1 MPa of intermittent hydrostatic pressure at a frequency of 1 Hz for 4 h per day for 10 days, or remained in identical culture conditions but without exposure to pressure. Afterwards, we compared the proteoglycan content of loaded and control cell/scaffold constructs with Alcian blue staining. We also used real-time PCR to evaluate the change in mRNA expression of selected genes associated with chondrogenic and osteogenic differentiation (aggrecan, type I collagen, type II collagen, Runx2 (Cbfa-1), Sox9, and TGF-β1). With the hydrostatic pressure loading regime, proteoglycan staining increased markedly. Correspondingly, the mRNA expression of chondrogenic genes such as aggrecan, type II collagen, and Sox9 increased significantly. We also saw a significant increase in the mRNA expression of type I collagen, but no change in the expression of Runx2 or TGF-β1 mRNA. This study demonstrated that hydrostatic pressure enhanced differentiation of MSCs in the presence of multipotent differentiation factors in vitro, and suggests the critical role that this loading regime may play during cartilage development and regeneration in vivo.