Published online May 26, 2023. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v15.i5.490
Peer-review started: November 9, 2022
First decision: December 25, 2022
Revised: January 21, 2023
Accepted: April 12, 2023
Article in press: April 12, 2023
Published online: May 26, 2023
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been applied to treat degenerative articular diseases, and stromal cell-derived factor-1α (SDF-1α) may enhance their therapeutic efficacy. However, the regulatory effects of SDF-1α on cartilage differentiation remain largely unknown. Identifying the specific regulatory effects of SDF-1α on MSCs will provide a useful target for the treatment of degenerative articular diseases.
To explore the role and mechanism of SDF-1α in cartilage differentiation of MSCs and primary chondrocytes.
The expression level of C-X-C chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) in MSCs was assessed by immunofluorescence. MSCs treated with SDF-1α were stained for alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and with Alcian blue to observe differentiation. Western blot analysis was used to examine the expression of SRY-box trans
Immunofluorescence showed CXCR4 expression in the membranes of MSCs. ALP stain was intensified in MSCs treated with SDF-1α for 14 d. The SDF-1α treatment promoted expression of collagen X and MMP13 during cartilage differentiation, whereas it had no effect on the expression of collagen II or aggrecan nor on the formation of cartilage matrix in MSCs. Further, those SDF-1α-mediated effects on MSCs were validated in primary chondrocytes. SDF-1α promoted the expression of p-GSK3β and β-catenin in MSCs. And, finally, inhibition of this pathway by ICG-001 (5 µmol/L) neutralized the SDF-1α-mediated up-regulation of collagen X and MMP13 expression in MSCs.
SDF-1α may promote hypertrophic cartilage differentiation in MSCs by activating the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. These findings provide further evidence for the use of MSCs and SDF-1α in the treatment of cartilage degeneration and osteoarthritis.
Core Tip: In this study, we investigated the effect of stromal cell-derived factor-1α (SDF-1α) on the differentiation of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and primary chondrocytes in vitro. We demonstrated that SDF-1α promotes the chondrogenic differentiation of MSCs, and similar results were observed in primary chondrocytes. In addition, SDF-1α also activates the Wnt/β-catenin pathway to regulate chondrocyte hypertrophy and maturation in MSCs.