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Cancer Cell death Cell cycle Cytoskeleton Exo/endocytosis Differentiation Division Organelles Signalling Stem cells Trafficking
Cell Biology International (2006) 30, 288–294 (Printed in Great Britain)
A novel terminal differentiation model of human articular chondrocytes in three-dimensional cultures mimicking chondrocytic changes in osteoarthritis
Mei‑Ling Hoac, Je‑Ken Changbcd, Shun‑Cheng Wuac, Ya‑Hui Chungc, Chung‑Hwan Chenbcd, Shao‑Hung Hungcef and Gwo‑Jaw Wangbcd*
aDepartment of Physiology, School of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
bDepartment of Orthopaedics, School of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
cOrthopaedic Research Center, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
dDepartment of Orthopedics, Kaohsiung Medical University Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
eDepartment of Biological Sciences, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
fDepartment of Orthopaedic Surgery, Fooyin University Hospital, Ping-Tung County, Taiwan


Abstract

This study establishes a cell culture model mimicking the terminal differentiation occurring in osteoarthritic chondrocytes. Normal articular chondrocytes obtained from human knees treated with 5-azacytidine (Aza-C) were harvested 3, 7 and 14 days after treatment. Phenotypic and genetic changes of articular chondrocytes were detected. The results show that mRNA expression of collagen type II, a marker for normal functional articular chondrocytes, was significantly decreased after Aza-C treatment in comparison to the control cultures, while those of collagen type X and ALP, markers for hypertrophic chondrocytes, were significantly increased. Cell size and apoptotic rate of articular chondrocytes showed significant increases compared to the control after 14 days of Aza-C treatment. Terminal differentiation is shown by this model of three-dimensional cultured human articular chondrocytes, which could apply to the studies of the cellular mechanisms of osteoarthritis.


Key words: Human articular chondrocytes, Terminal differentiation, Three-dimensional cell culture, Aza-C.

*Corresponding author. Department of Orthopaedics, School of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, No. 100, Shih-Chuan 1st Road, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan. Tel.: +886 7 3121101x2553; fax: +886 7 3219452.


Received 13 December 2004/16 November 2005; accepted 20 November 2005

doi:10.1016/j.cellbi.2005.11.009


ISSN Print: 1065-6995
ISSN Electronic: 1095-8355
Published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the International Federation for Cell Biology (IFCB)