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

2019   Volume No 37 – pages 310-332

Title: Carrageenan enhances chondrogenesis and osteogenesis in human bone marrow stem cell culture

Authors: V Graceffa, DI Zeugolis

Address: National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway), Galway, Ireland.

E-mail: dimitrios.zeugolis at

Abstract: The extracellular matrix is a dynamic and active component of the mesenchymal stem cell niche, which controls their differentiation and self-renewal. Traditional in vitro culture systems are not able to mimic matrix-cell interactions due to the small amount of extracellular matrix present. Macromolecular crowding, a biophysical phenomenon based on the excluded-volume effect, dramatically accelerates and increases tissue-specific extracellular matrix deposition during in vitro culture. Herein, the influence of macromolecular crowding in pre-condition and tri-lineage differentiation of human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells was investigated. Carrageenan, a sulphated polysaccharide, enhanced chondrogenesis, as evidenced by increased collagen type II and chondroitin sulphate deposition and unaffected Sox-9 expression. Osteogenesis was also enhanced when carrageenan was used only in the differentiation phase, as evidenced by increased mineralisation, collagen type I deposition and osteopontin expression. Adipogenesis was not enhanced in the presence of carrageenan, suggesting that the chemistry of the crowder may affect stem-cell-lineage commitment. In conclusion, carrageenan, a sulphated polysaccharide, enhanced extracellular matrix deposition and promoted chondrogenesis and osteogenesis but not adipogenesis in human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell cultures.

Key Words: Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells, macromolecular crowding, extracellular matrix, stem cell pre-conditioning, tri-lineage differentiation.

Publication date: April 30th 2019

Article download: Pages 310-332 (PDF file)


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