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Taylor D.W.,CIHR BioEngineering of Skeletal Tissues Team | Taylor D.W.,Sinai University | Taylor D.W.,University of Toronto | Ahmed N.,CIHR BioEngineering of Skeletal Tissues Team | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry | Year: 2012

To circumvent the problem of a sufficient number of cells for cartilage engineering, the authors previously developed a two-stage culture system to redifferentiate monolayer culture-expanded dedifferentiated human articular chondrocytes by co-culture with primary bovine chondrocytes (bP0). The aim of this study was to analyze the composition of the cartilage tissue formed in stage 1 and compare it with bP0 grown alone to determine the optimal length of the co-culture stage of the system. Biochemical data show that extracellular matrix accumulation was evident after 2 weeks of co-culture, which was 1 week behind the bP0 control culture. By 3 to 4 weeks, the amounts of accumulated proteoglycans and collagens were comparable. Expression of chondrogenic genes, Sox 9, aggrecan, and collagen type II, was also at similar levels by week 3 of culture. Immunohistochemical staining of both co-culture and control tissues showed accumulation of type II collagen, aggrecan, biglycan, decorin, and chondroitin sulfate in appropriate zonal distributions. These data indicate that co-cultured cells form cartilaginous tissue that starts to resemble that formed by bP0 after 3 weeks, suggesting that the optimal time to terminate the co-culture stage, isolate the now redifferentiated cells, and start stage 2 is just after 3 weeks. © The Author(s) 2012.

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