Cartilage-derived extracellular matrix extract promotes chondrocytic phenotype in three-dimensional tissue culture

Daniel W. Youngstrom, Inese Cakstina, Eriks Jakobsons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Cell transplantation is a promising regenerative therapy for cartilage degeneration. However, obtaining sufficient numbers of cells for this purpose is a challenge, due a lack of autologous donor tissue and the difficulty of culturing chondrocytes in vitro. Tissue engineering strategies that induce or maintain chondrocytic phenotype may solve these problems by (1) broadening the range of available donor tissue, and (2) facilitating the expansion of these cells while controlling phenotypic drift. In this study, bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and cartilage-derived cells (CDCs) were cultured on composite hydrogels containing agarose and homogenized cartilage extracellular matrix (ECM). MSCs cultured on agarose-ECM scaffolds did not show significant signs of chondrogenic differentiation in the absence of additional cues. However, CDCs cultured on agarose-ECM scaffolds proliferated more rapidly than their ECM-free counterparts and MSCs, while retaining chondrocytic morphology. These results were corroborated via expression of cartilage marker genes: in autologous constructs, SOX 9 expression was upregulated by 12.6 ± 5.3-fold, and COL II was upregulated by 2.0 ± 0.3-fold. Agarose-ECM composite hydrogels are therefore useful for expanding partially differentiated CDCs for applications in regenerative medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1040-1047
Number of pages8
JournalArtificial Cells, Nanomedicine and Biotechnology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • cartilage
  • extracellular matrix
  • mesenchymal stem cells
  • tissue engineering

Field of Science*

  • 3.1 Basic medicine
  • 1.6 Biological sciences

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


Dive into the research topics of 'Cartilage-derived extracellular matrix extract promotes chondrocytic phenotype in three-dimensional tissue culture'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this