Congenital abnormalities, various diseases and injuries may result in the degeneration of articular cartilage. Recently, stem cell therapy has offered new treatment possibilities for this condition. The aim of our study was to verify the chondrogenic differentiation potential of human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) and adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (AMSCs) in vitro in the presence or absence of transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta1). Human BMSCs and AMSCs from healthy donors were collected during orthopaedic surgeries and expanded in vitro to obtain a sufficient quantity of cells; their chondrogenic differentiation was studied in the pellet culture system. Spontaneous chondrogenesis occurred in both BMSC and AMSC pellet cultures and was similar in both TGF-beta1 treated and untreated pellet cultures. BMSC pellets contained more cells with a chondrogenic phenotype. The presence of TGF-beta1 led to a decrease in the levels of collagen type I mRNA and to increased levels of collagen type II mRNA only in the BMSC pellet culture. Our results demonstrate that although both mesenchymal cell types can be used in cartilage tissue engineering, the chondrogenic potential of human BMSCs is higher than that of AMSCs.
cartilage; collagen mRNA; mesenchymal stem cell; pellet cell culture; TGF-beta1
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