Hypoxia activates the PTHrP-MEF2C pathway to attenuate hypertrophy in mesenchymal stem cell derived cartilage

Browe, David C.
Coleman, Cynthia M.
Barry, Frank P.
Elliman, Stephen J.
Browe, David C., Coleman, Cynthia M., Barry, Frank P., & Elliman, Stephen J. (2019). Hypoxia Activates the PTHrP –MEF2C Pathway to Attenuate Hypertrophy in Mesenchymal Stem Cell Derived Cartilage. Scientific Reports, 9(1), 13274. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-49499-x
Articular cartilage lacks an intrinsic repair capacity and due to the ability of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to differentiate into chondrocytes, MSCs have been touted as a cellular source to regenerate damaged cartilage. However, a number of prevailing concerns for such a treatment remain. Generally, administration of MSCs into a cartilage defect results in poor regeneration of the damaged cartilage with the repaired cartilage consisting primarily of fibro-cartilage rather than hyaline cartilage. Methods that improve the chondrogenic potential of transplanted MSCs in vivo may be advantageous. In addition, the proclivity of MSC-derived cartilage to undergo hypertrophic differentiation or form bone in vivo also remains a clinical concern. If MSC-derived cartilage was to undergo hypertrophic differentiation in vivo, this would be deleterious in a clinical setting. This study focuses on establishing a mechanism of action by which hypoxia or low oxygen tension can be used to both enhance chondrogenesis and attenuate hypertrophic differentiation of both MSC and ATDC5 derived chondrocytes. Having elucidated a novel mechanism of action, the subsequent goals of this study were to develop an in vitro culture regime to mimic the beneficial effects of physiological low oxygen tension in a normoxic environment.
Nature Research
Publisher DOI
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland