Identification of superficial zone articular chondrocyte stem/progenitor cells

Shintaro Hattori, Carol Oxford, A Hari Reddi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


Identification of progenitor/stem cell populations that differentiate specifically towards superficial zone articular chondrocytes is an unmet challenge for cartilage tissue engineering. Using fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis we found a characteristic pattern of "side population" (SP) stem cells identified by the Hoechst 33342 dye. We established micromass cultures from this population of cells and tested their chondrogeneic potential. Control (untreated) cultures were minimally stained for Alcian blue-a marker of chondrogenesis. However, with BMP-7 treatment, Alcian blue staining was increased. Superficial zone protein-a specific marker for articular cartilage superficial zone chondrocytes-increased with BMP-7 and/or TGF-β1 treatment in SP micromass cultures. Our results demonstrate the presence of stem/progenitor cells in the SP fraction isolated from the surface zone of bovine cartilage and have the ability to specifically differentiate towards the superficial zone articular chondrocyte.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-103
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 22 2007


  • Articular cartilage
  • BMP7
  • Side population
  • Stem/progenitor cells
  • Superficial zone protein
  • TGFβ1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Molecular Biology


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