eCM (Eur Cell Mater / e Cells & Materials) Not-for-profit Open Access
Created by Scientists, for Scientists
 ISSN:1473-2262         NLM:100973416 (link)         DOI:10.22203/eCM

2011   Volume No 22 – pages 168-177

Title: Fibronectin- and collagen-mimetic ligands regulate bone marrow stromal cell chondrogenesis in three-dimensional hydrogels

Author: JT Connelly, TA Petrie, AJ García, ME Levenston

Address: 233 Durand Building, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-4038, USA

E-mail: levenston at

Key Words: Chondrogenesis, mesenchymal progenitors, extracellular matrix, fibronectin, collagen, tissue engineering, microenvironment.

Publication date: September 20th 2011

Abstract: Modification of tissue engineering scaffolds with bioactive molecules is a potential strategy for modulating cell behavior and guiding tissue regeneration. While adhesion to RGD peptides has been shown to inhibit in vitro chondrogenesis, the effects of extracellular matrix (ECM)-mimetic ligands with complex secondary and tertiary structures are unknown. This study aimed to determine whether collagen- and fibronectin-mimetic ligands would retain biologic functionality in three-dimensional (3D) hydrogels, whether different ECM-mimetic ligands differentially influence in vitro chondrogenesis, and if effects of ligands on differentiation depend on soluble biochemical stimuli. A linear RGD peptide, a recombinant fibronectin fragment containing the seven to ten Type III repeats (FnIII7-10) and a triple helical, collagen mimetic peptide with the GFOGER motif were covalently coupled to agarose gels using the sulfo-SANPAH crosslinker, and bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) were cultured within the 3D hydrogels. The ligands retained biologic functionality within the agarose gels and promoted density-dependent BMSC spreading. Interactions with all adhesive ligands inhibited stimulation by chondrogenic factors of collagen Type II and aggrecan mRNA levels and deposition of sulfated glycosaminoglycans. In medium containing fetal bovine serum, interactions with the GFOGER peptide enhanced mRNA expression of the osteogenic gene osteocalcin whereas FnIII7-10 inhibited osteocalcin expression. In conclusion, modification of agarose hydrogels with ECM-mimetic ligands can influence the differentiation of BMSCs in a manner that depends strongly on the presence and nature of soluble biochemical stimuli.

Article download: Pages 168-177 (PDF file)
DOI: 10.22203/eCM.v022a13