TitleAssessment of the inherent chondrogenic potential of human articular cartilage-derived chondroprogenitors in pellet culture using a novel whole pellet processing approach.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsJohnson NNaveen, Amirtham SManickam, B Rani S, Sathishkumar S, Rebekah G, Vinod E
JournalJ Orthop
Date Published2022 May-Jun

Purpose: Cartilage-derived chondroprogenitors have been reported to possess the biological potential for cartilage repair. However, its inherent chondrogenic potential in pellet culture needs evaluation. In-vitro cartilage regeneration models based on pellet cultures have been employed to evaluate the chondrogenic potential of stem cells. Evaluation of the degree of differentiation routinely involves paraffin embedding, sectioning, and immunohistochemical staining of the pellet. However, since chondrogenic differentiation is commonly non-uniform, processing random sections could lead to inaccurate conclusions. The study aimed at assessing the inherent lineage bias of chondroprogenitors with and without chondrogenic induction, using a novel whole pellet processing technique.

Methods: Human chondroprogenitors (n=3) were evaluated for MSC markers and processed in pellet cultures either with stromal medium (uninduced) or chondrogenic differentiation medium (induced) for 28 days. The whole pellets and the conventional paraffin-embedded sectioned pellets were subjected to Collagen type II immunostaining and assessed using confocal laser microscopy. The staining intensities of the whole pellet were compared to the paraffin sections and revalidated using qRT-PCR for COL2A1 expression.

Results: Uninduced and induced pellets displayed Collagen type II in all the layers with comparable fluorescence intensities. COL2A1 expression in both pellets was comparable to confocal results. The study demonstrated that uninduced chondroprogenitors in pellet culture possess promising inherent chondrogenic potential. Confocal imaging of whole pellets displayed different degrees of chondrogenic differentiation in the entire pellet, thus its probable in-vivo behavior.

Conclusion: The novel approach presented in this study could serve as an efficient in-vitro alternative for understanding translational application for cartilage repair.

Alternate JournalJ Orthop
PubMed ID35368732
PubMed Central IDPMC8967706