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Cytotechnology. 2005 Jan; 47(1-3): 11–17.
PMCID: PMC3449815

Differentiation of Human Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells to Chondrocytes for Construction of Three-dimensional Cartilage Tissue


A differentiation method of human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to chondrocytes was developed for the construction of a three-dimensional (3D) cartilage tissue. The adhesive cells, which were isolated from a human bone marrow aspirate were embedded in type I collagen in a poly-l-lactate-glycolic acid copolymer (PLGA) mesh and cultivated for 4 week together with growth factors. The degree of cellular differentiation was estimated by quantitative RT-PCR of aggrecan and type II collagen mRNAs and by staining with Safranin O. The 3D culture showed a higher degree of differentiation even without growth factors than the conventional pellet culture with growth factors, namely, dexamethasone and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β 3. The 3D culture for 2 week with the combined addition of dexamethasone, TGF-β 3, and insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I reached a 30% expression of aggrecan mRNA compared with that in primary human chondrocytes, while the aggrecan mRNA expression in the conventional pellet culture was less than 2%. The sequential two-step differentiation cultivation, during which the cells were cultivated in 3D for 1 week after the conventional two-dimensional (2D) culture for 1 week, could markedly accelerate the expression of aggrecan mRNA compared with the 3D cultivation for 2 week.

Keywords: Chondrocyte, Differentiation, Mesenchymal stem cell, Three-dimension

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Selected References

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