Chondrogenic differentiation of amniotic fluid-derived stem cells
For regenerating damaged articular cartilage, it is necessary to identify an appropriate cell source that is easily accessible, can be expanded to large numbers, and has chondrogenic potential. Amniotic fluid-derived stem (AFS) cells have recently been isolated from human and rodent amniotic fluid and shown to be highly proliferative and broadly pluripotent. The purpose of this study was to investigate the chondrogenic potential of human AFS cells in pellet and alginate hydrogel cultures. Human AFS cells were expanded in various media conditions, and cultured for three weeks with growth factor supplementation. There was increased production of sulfated glycosaminoglycan (sGAG) and type II collagen in response to transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) supplementation, with TGF-β1 producing greater increases than TGF-β3. Modification of expansion media supplements and addition of insulin-like growth factor-1 during pellet culture further increased sGAG/DNA over TGF-β1 supplementation alone. Compared to bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells, the AFS cells produced less cartilaginous matrix after three weeks of TGF-β1 supplementation in pellet culture. Even so, this study demonstrates that AFS cells have the potential to differentiate along the chondrogenic lineage, thus establishing the feasibility of using these cells for cartilage repair applications.
KeywordsCartilage repair Chondrogenic differentiation Amniotic fluid stem cells Mesenchymal stem cells Pellet culture Transforming growth factor-beta
The authors would like to thank Dr. Christopher Gemmiti for his help with biochemical and histological analyses. This work was supported by the Georgia Tech/Emory Center for the Engineering of Living Tissues (NSF grant EEC-9731643). AP supported by an NIH IRACDA training Grant 2K12GM000680-06.
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