Since permanent cartilage has poor self-regenerative capacity, its regeneration from autologous human chondrocytes using a tissue engineering techniquemaygreatly benefit the treatment of various skeletal disorders. However, the conventional autologous chondrocyte implantation is insufficient both in quantity and in quality due to two major limitations: dedifferentiation during a long term culture for multiplication and hypertrophic differentiation by stimulation for the redifferentiation. To overcome the limitations, this study attempted to determine the optimal combination in primary human chondrocyte cultures under a serum-free condition, from among 12 putative chondrocyte regulators. From the exhaustive 212 = 4,096 combinations, 256 were selected by fractional factorial design, and bone morphogenetic protein-2 and insulin (BI) were statistically determined to be the most effective combination causing redifferentiation of the dedifferentiated cells after repeated passaging. Wefurther found that the addition of triiodothyronine (T3) prevented the BI-induced hypertrophic differentiation of redifferentiated chondrocytes via the suppression of Akt signaling. The implant formed by the human chondrocytes cultured in atelocollagen and poly(L-latic acid) scaffold under the BI + T3 stimulation consisted of sufficient hyaline cartilage with mechanical properties comparable with native cartilage after transplantation in nude mice, indicating that BI + T3 is the optimal combination to regenerate a clinically practical permanent cartilage from autologous chondrocytes.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology