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  • Author or Editor: Hussni O. Mohammed x
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Abstract

Objective

To determine the effects of transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) on the synthesis of DNA, collagen, and proteoglycans (PG) by equine chondrocytes.

Sample Population

Articular cartilage obtained from multiple joints of a 4-month-old foal.

Procedure

Chondrocytes were isolated by collagenase digestion, cultured in monolayer, trypsinized, and implanted at a cellular density of 10 × 106 chondrocytes/ml in a three-dimensional fibrin matrix. Chondrocytes in culture were supplemented with TGF-β1 at concentrations of 0, 1, 5, or 10 ng/ml in serum-free medium or medium containing fetal bovine serum (FBS). Total PG accumulation, [35S]-labeled PG synthesis, PG monomer hydrodynamic size, type II collagen production, total DNA content, and [3H]thymidine incorporation into DNA were determined at 7 and 14 days of culture.

Results

Chondrocytes maintained a rounded phenotype, dedifferentiating slightly to a more fibroblastic appearance only in medium containing FBS and 10 ng of TGF-β1/ml. Type II collagen immunoreaction on day 14 was decreased in the pericellular matrix in cultures containing FBS and 1, 5, and 10 ng of TGF-β1/ml, and in all serum-free culture conditions compared to FBS and 0 ng of TGF-β1/ml. Total proteoglycan accumulation and [35S]-labeled proteoglycan synthesis in cultures on days 7 and 14 were increased by the addition of exogenous TGF-β1 in serum-free conditions and decreased by TGF-β1 in FBS-supplemented conditions. Calculation of the partition coefficients for PG indicated that there was synthesis of low molecular weight PG in serum-free conditions and larger sized proteoglycans in FBS-supplemented conditions. Proteoglycan molecular size was unchanged by the addition of TGF-β1. Total DNA content of chondrocytes increased with the addition of TGF-β1 in FBS-supplemented conditions and decreased in serum-free conditions.

Conclusions

In a solid three-dimensional fibrin matrix, the effects of TGF-β1 on chondrocyte biological activity depend on the culture duration and on the presence of FBS in the medium. Stimulatory effects of TGF-β1 were most pronounced in serum-free culture conditions with high concentration of TGF-β1 (5 and 10 ng/ml) on day 7 and with low concentration of TGF-β1 (1 ng/ml) on day 14.

Clinical Relevance

TGF-β1 may not be a suitable growth factor for enhancement of equine articular grafting in sites exposed to serum. (Am J Vet Res 1997;58:66–70)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research