IGF-I induces adipose derived mesenchymal cell chondrogenic differentiation in vitro and enhances chondrogenesis in vivo

  • Quan Zhou
  • Baojun Li
  • Jiali Zhao
  • Wei Pan
  • Jin Xu
  • Sumei ChenEmail author


Recent studies have demonstrated that insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-I) modulates bone mesenchymal stem cell chondrogenic differentiation independent of transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) signaling in vitro. However, it is unclear whether IGF-I can solely modulate human adipose-derived mesenchymal cell (hAMC) chondrogenic differentiation, or whether it has additive effects with TGF-β1 to induce chondrogenic differentiation in vitro and development of mature cartilage in vivo. We investigated the effect of IGF-I on the induction of hAMC chondrogenic differentiation in the presence or absence of transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1) in vitro, and chondrogenesis of the induced hAMC in vivo. The results showed that IGF-I alone induced collagen type II, aggrecan, and Sox9 mRNA expression and collagen type II and aggrecan proteins expressions in hAMCs. Notably, there was greater mRNA expression of collagen type II, aggrecan and Sox9, and greater protein expression of collagen type II and aggrecan following TGF-β1 + IGF-I treatment, compared to either TGF-β1 or IGF-I-treated hAMCs. These results were confirmed in cartilage tissues derived from induced hAMCs. These findings indicate that IGF-I alone has the ability to induce chondrogenic differentiation and has additive effects with TGF-β1 to induce chondrogenic differentiation in vitro and in vivo.


Chondrogenic differentiation Insulin-like growth factor Multipotentmesenchymal cells Tissue engineering 



This research was supported by grants from the scientific research fund of the Bureau of Public Health of Jiangsu province (no. H201254) and the Huai’an Technology Support Program (social development) funded projects (no. HAS2013046).

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© The Society for In Vitro Biology 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Quan Zhou
    • 1
  • Baojun Li
    • 2
  • Jiali Zhao
    • 1
  • Wei Pan
    • 1
  • Jin Xu
    • 1
  • Sumei Chen
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of OrthopaedicsHuai’an Hospital Affiliated of Xuzhou Medical College and Huai’an Second HospitalHuai’anChina
  2. 2.Department of Joint SurgerySecond People’s Hospital of Hunan ProvinceChangshaChina

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