Objective—To determine the in vitro effects of selected growth factors on fibrochondrogenesis by synovial membrane cells from nonosteoarthritic (normal) and osteoarthritic joints of dogs.
Animals—5 dogs with secondary osteoarthritis of shoulder or stifle joints and 6 dogs with normal joints.
Procedures—Synovial membrane cells were harvested from normal and osteoarthritic joints and cultured in monolayer with or without (control) basic fibroblast growth factor, transforming growth factor-β1, and insulin-like growth factor-1. In the cultured cells, fibrochondrogenesis was measured by use of a real-time reverse transcriptase PCR assay to determine relative expressions of collagen I, collagen II, and aggrecan genes and of 3 genes involved in embryonic chondrogenesis: Sry-type homeobox protein-9 (SOX-9), frizzled-motif associated with bone development (Frzb), and regulator of G-protein signaling-10 (RGS-10). Tissue collagen content was measured via a hydroxyproline assay, and sulfated glycosaminoglycan content was measured via a 1,9-dimethylmethylene blue assay. Cellularity was determined via a double-stranded DNA assay. Immunohistochemical analysis for collagens I and II was also performed.
Results—In vitro collagen synthesis was enhanced by growth factor stimulation. Although osteoarthritic-joint synoviocytes could undergo a fibrocartilage-like phenotypic shift, their production of collagenous extracellular matrix was less than that of normal-joint synoviocytes. Gene expressions of SOX-9 and RGS-10 were highest in the osteoarthritic-joint cells; Frzb expression was highest in growth factor treated cells.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Autogenous synovium may be a viable cell source for meniscal tissue engineering. Gene expressions of SOX-9 and RGS-10 may be potential future targets for in vitro enhancement of chondrogenesis.