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Legendre F.,Laboratoire Microenvironnement Cellulaire et Pathologies MILPAT EA 4652 | Ollitrault D.,Laboratoire Microenvironnement Cellulaire et Pathologies MILPAT EA 4652 | Hervieu M.,Laboratoire Microenvironnement Cellulaire et Pathologies MILPAT EA 4652 | Bauge C.,Laboratoire Microenvironnement Cellulaire et Pathologies MILPAT EA 4652 | And 7 more authors.
Tissue Engineering - Part C: Methods | Year: 2013

Cartilage healing by tissue engineering is an alternative strategy to reconstitute functional tissue after trauma or age-related degeneration. However, chondrocytes, the major player in cartilage homeostasis, do not self-regenerate efficiently and lose their phenotype during osteoarthritis. This process is called dedifferentiation and also occurs during the first expansion step of autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI). To ensure successful ACI therapy, chondrocytes must be differentiated and capable of synthesizing hyaline cartilage matrix molecules. We therefore developed a safe procedure for redifferentiating human chondrocytes by combining appropriate physicochemical factors: hypoxic conditions, collagen scaffolds, chondrogenic factors (bone morphogenetic protein-2 [BMP-2], and insulin-like growth factor I [IGF-I]) and RNA interference targeting the COL1A1 gene. Redifferentiation of dedifferentiated chondrocytes was evaluated using gene/protein analyses to identify the chondrocyte phenotypic profile. In our conditions, under BMP-2 treatment, redifferentiated and metabolically active chondrocytes synthesized a hyaline-like cartilage matrix characterized by type IIB collagen and aggrecan molecules without any sign of hypertrophy or osteogenesis. In contrast, IGF-I increased both specific and noncharacteristic markers (collagens I and X) of chondrocytes. The specific increase in COL2A1 gene expression observed in the BMP-2 treatment was shown to involve the specific enhancer region of COL2A1 that binds the trans-activators Sox9/L-Sox5/Sox6 and Sp1, which are associated with a decrease in the trans-inhibitors of COL2A1, c-Krox, and p65 subunit of NF-kappaB. Our procedure in which BMP-2 treatment under hypoxia is associated with a COL1A1 siRNA, significantly increased the differentiation index of chondrocytes, and should offer the opportunity to develop new ACI-based therapies in humans. © Copyright 2013, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

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