Basic Study
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World J Stem Cells. May 26, 2023; 15(5): 490-501
Published online May 26, 2023. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v15.i5.490
Stromal cell-derived factor-1α regulates chondrogenic differentiation via activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway in mesenchymal stem cells
Xiao Chen, Xia-Ming Liang, Jia Zheng, Yong-Hui Dong
Xiao Chen, Xia-Ming Liang, Jia Zheng, Yong-Hui Dong, Department of Orthopedics, Henan Provincial People’s Hospital, Zhengzhou University People’s Hospital, Zhengzhou 450003, Henan Province, China
Author contributions: Chen X acquired the data; Zheng J and Dong YH designed the experiments; Chen X and Liang XM analyzed the data and wrote the manuscript; Liang XM and Chen X supervised the study; all authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Supported by Henan Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 212300410242; Youth Project Jointly Constructed by Henan Provincial Health Commission and the Ministry, No. SBGJ202103008; and Henan Young and Middle-aged Health Science and Technology Innovation Excellent Youth Talent Training Project of China, No. YXKC2021047.
Institutional review board statement: This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Henan Provincial People’s Hospital.
Institutional animal care and use committee statement: The animal study was approved by the Animal Experimentation Ethics Committee of Chongqing Western Biomedical Technology Co., Ltd.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Data sharing statement: The datasets used and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
ARRIVE guidelines statement: The authors have read the ARRIVE guidelines, and the manuscript was prepared and revised according to the ARRIVE guidelines.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Yong-Hui Dong, PhD, Professor, Department of Orthopedics, Henan Provincial People’s Hospital, Zhengzhou University People’s Hospital, No. 7 Weiwu Road, Jinshui District, Zhengzhou 450003, Henan Province, China.
Received: November 9, 2022
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
Research background

Stromal cell-derived factor-1α (SDF-1α) has a chemotactic effect on mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), and SDF-1α and MSCs are used together to treat cartilage degeneration and cartilage defects. The specific effects of SDF-1α on cartilage differentiation in MSCs need to be clarified.

Research motivation

Understanding the effects of SDF-1α on MSCs will provide a new theoretical basis for the use of MSCs in the repair of cartilage degeneration.

Research objectives

To explore the role and mechanism of SDF-1α on cartilage differentiation in MSCs and primary chondrocytes.

Research methods

MSCs were treated with SDF-1α and subsequently stained for alkaline phosphatase and with Alcian blue to demonstrate chondrogenic differentiation. Western blot analysis was used to examine the expression of cartilage differentiation-related and Wnt/β-catenin pathway proteins in MSCs and primary chondrocytes.

Research results

After extraction and incubation with the appropriate differentiation media, MSCs differentiated into the three skeletal lineages. SDF-1α exerted no effect on early cartilage formation but enhanced hypertrophic differentiation in MSCs. SDF-1α had no effect on the expression of SRY-box transcription factor 9, aggrecan, and collagen II but increased the expression of runx family transcription factor 2, collagen X, and matrix metalloproteinase 13 in MSCs and primary chondrocytes. SDF-1α increased the expression of p- glycogen synthase kinase 3β and β-catenin.

Research conclusions

SDF-1α enhanced hypertrophic differentiation in MSCs and primary chondrocytes. This effect was achieved by activating the Wnt/β-catenin pathway.

Research perspectives

These findings provide a new theoretical basis for the treatment of cartilage degeneration with MSCs.