TitleEvaluation of ghrelin as a distinguishing marker for human articular cartilage-derived chondrocytes and chondroprogenitors.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsVinod E, J JLisha, Parasuraman G, Livingston A, Daniel AJob, Sathishkumar S
JournalJ Clin Orthop Trauma
Date Published2023 Jun

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: Cell-based therapeutics for articular cartilage repair primarily employed bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells and chondrocytes. Research to overcome their limitation of formation of a functionally poor fibro-hyaline type of repair tissue led to the discovery of chondroprogenitors (CPCs), cartilage resident stem cells. These cells isolated by adhesion assay using fibronectin (FAA-CPs) and migration of progenitors from explants (MCPs) display higher chondrogenic and lower terminal differentiation potential. During in-vitro culture, chondrocytes tend to de-differentiate and acquire characteristics similar to stem cells, thus making it challenging to distinguish them from other cell groups. Ghrelin, a cytoplasmic growth hormone secretagogue, has been proposed to play a vital role in chondrogenesis, with reports of its higher expression in chondrocytes than BM-MSCs. The aim of this study was to compare the mRNA expression of Ghrelin between BM-MSCs, chondrocytes, FAA-CPs and MCP and the possibility of it serving as a distinguishing marker.

METHODS: The four populations isolated from three human osteoarthritic knee joints were characterised by CD marker expression for positive (CD 90, CD73 and CD105) and negative (HLA-DR, CD34 and CD45) MSC markers and trilineage differentiation (adipogenic, osteogenic and chondrogenic) and subjected to qRT-PCR to assess Ghrelin's gene expression.

RESULTS: This study showed that all groups exhibited similar expression of CD markers and multilineage potential. Though chondrocytes showed greater expression of Ghrelin, it was not statistically significant to classify it as a distinguishing marker between these cell populations.

CONCLUSION: Ghrelin does not serve to differentiate the subpopulations in terms of their mRNA expression. Further evaluation using their associated enzymes and receptors could provide valuable information to uncover their potential as unequivocal biomarkers.

Alternate JournalJ Clin Orthop Trauma
PubMed ID37303495
PubMed Central IDPMC10248861