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Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2013 Jul;45(7):1410-8. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2013.04.016. Epub 2013 Apr 21.

Identification of fibronectin as a major factor in human serum to recruit subchondral mesenchymal progenitor cells.

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TransTissue Technologies GmbH, Charitéplatz 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany.


Human serum has the potential for mesenchymal progenitor cell recruitment in repair of articular cartilage lesions. It is unclear which factor(s) in serum mediate this migratory effect. Our goal was to identify cell recruiting factors in human serum fractions obtained by ion exchange chromatography. The recruiting activity of serum fractions on human subchondral mesenchymal progenitor cells was analyzed using 96-well chemotaxis assays. Protein composition of recruiting serum fractions were analyzed by mass spectrometry and showed 58 potential candidates. Fibronectin, gelsolin, lumican, thrombospondin-1 and WNT-9a were identified as key candidates for progenitor cell recruitment. Only human plasma derived and recombinant fibronectin showed significant recruiting activity on progenitors reaching 50-90% of the recruiting activity of normal human serum. Presence of fibronectin in all human serum fractions with recruiting activity was verified by Western blot analysis. This study shows that fibronectin is a key factor in human serum to recruit mesenchymal progenitor cells and might be involved in subchondral mesenchymal progenitor cell migration into cartilage defects after microfracture.

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