Effect of fibroblast growth factor 2 on equine synovial fluid chondroprogenitor expansion and chondrogenesis

Marta Bianchessi, Yuwen Chen, Sushmitha Durgam, Holly Pondenis, Matthew Stewart

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Mesenchymal stem cells have been identified in the synovial fluid of several species. This study was conducted to characterize chondroprogenitor (CP) cells in equine synovial fluid (SF) and to determine the effect of fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2) on SF-CP monolayer proliferation and subsequent chondrogenesis. We hypothesized that FGF-2 would stimulate SF-CP proliferation and postexpansion chondrogenesis. SF aspirates were collected from adult equine joints. Colony-forming unit (CFU) assays were performed during primary cultures. At first passage, SF-cells were seeded at low density, with or without FGF-2. Following monolayer expansion and serial immunophenotyping, cells were transferred to chondrogenic pellet cultures. Pellets were analyzed for chondrogenic mRNA expression and cartilage matrix secretion. There was a mean of 59.2 CFU/mL of SF. FGF-2 increased the number of population doublings during two monolayer passages and halved the population doubling times. FGF-2 did not alter the immunophenotype of SF-CPs during monolayer expansion, nor did FGF-2 compromise chondrogenesis. Hypertrophic phenotypic markers were not expressed in control or FGF-2 groups. FGF-2 did prevent the development of a "fibroblastic" cell layer around pellet periphery. FGF-2 significantly accelerates in vitro SF-CP expansion, the major hurdle to clinical application of this cell population, without detrimentally affecting subsequent chondrogenic capacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9364974
JournalStem Cells International
StatePublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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