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Mol Med Rep. 2019 Sep 9. doi: 10.3892/mmr.2019.10656. [Epub ahead of print]

Effects of hypoxia‑inducible factor‑1α on the proliferation and apoptosis of human synovial mesenchymal stem cells.

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Department of Orthopaedics, Affiliated Suzhou Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215008, P.R. China.
Department of Intervention, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu 215004, P.R. China.


Hypoxia is a constant feature of the synovial microenvironment. How synovial mesenchymal stem cells (SMSCs) proliferate and differentiate in a hypoxic environment over a long period of time has aroused the interest of researchers. The aim of the present study was to explore the effects of hypoxia‑inducible factor‑1α (HIF‑1α) on the proliferation and apoptosis of human SMSCs. SMSCs were harvested and cultured under different concentration of oxygen, normoxia (21% O2), hypoxia (5% O2) and severe hypoxia (0.5% O2) to determine its effect on the expression of HIF‑1α. Then, the cells were collected and cell proliferation and apoptosis were detected at severe hypoxia (0.5% O2) and hypoxia (5% O2) conditions following HIF‑1α siRNA transfection. There were no significant changes in cellular proliferation or apoptosis when cultured in normoxia (21% O2), hypoxia (5% O2) or severe hypoxia (0.5% O2). However, the mRNA and protein expression of HIF‑1α were markedly upregulated in the hypoxic conditions. Further experiments suggested that the proliferation of SMSCs was obviously suppressed and apoptosis was markedly increased under severe hypoxic (0.5%) and hypoxic (5% O2) conditions following HIF‑1α siRNA transfection. In conclusion, HIF‑1α effectively improved the tolerance of SMSCs to hypoxia, which may promote cellular proliferation and prevent the apoptosis of SMSCs under hypoxic conditions.


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