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Open Access Differences in Cartilage-Forming Capacity of Expanded Human Chondrocytes From Ear and Nose and Their Gene Expression Profiles

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential of culture-expanded human auricular and nasoseptal chondrocytes as cell source for regeneration of stable cartilage and to analyze the differences in gene expression profile of expanded chondrocytes from these specific locations. Auricular chondrocytes in monolayer proliferated less and more slowly (two passages took 26.7 ± 2.1 days and were reached in 4.37 ± 0.30 population doublings) than nasoseptal chondrocytes (19.3 ± 2.5 days; 5.45 ± 0.20 population doublings). However, auricular chondrocytes produced larger pellets with more cartilage-like matrix than nasoseptal chondrocytes (2.2 ± 0.71 vs. 1.7 ± 0.13 mm in diameter after 35 days of culture). Although the matrix formed by auricular and nasoseptal chondrocytes contained collagen X, it did not mineralize in an in vitro model or after in vivo subcutaneous implantation. A DNA microarray study on expanded auricular and nasoseptal chondrocytes from the same donors revealed 1,090 differentially expressed genes. No difference was observed in the expression of known markers of chondrogenic capacity (e.g., collagen II, FGFR3, BMP2, and ALK1). The most striking differences were that the auricular chondrocytes had a higher expression of anabolic growth factors BMP5 and IGF1, while matrix-degrading enzymes MMP13 and ADAMTS5 were higher expressed in nasoseptal chondrocytes. This might offer a possible explanation for the observed higher matrix production by auricular chondrocytes. Moreover, chondrocytes isolated from auricular or nasoseptal cartilage had specific gene expression profiles even after expansion. These differently expressed genes were not restricted to known characterization of donor site subtype (e.g., elastic), but were also related to developmental processes.
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Keywords: Cartilage; Chondrocytes; Chondrogenesis; Collagen X; Mineralization; Tissue engineering

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck surgery, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Publication date: 2011-06-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

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