Novel methods for inducing chondrogenesis are critical for cartilage tissue engineering and regeneration. Here we show that the synthetic oleanane triterpenoids, CDDO-Imidazolide (CDDO-Im) and CDDO-Ethyl amide (CDDO-EA), at concentrations as low as 200 nM, induce chondrogenesis in organ cultures of newborn mouse calvaria. The cartilage phenotype was measured histologically with metachromatic toluidine blue staining for proteoglycans and by immunohistochemical staining for type II collagen. Furthermore, real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis using mRNA from calvaria after 7-day treatment with CDDO-Im and CDDO-EA showed up-regulation of the chondrocyte markers SOX9 and type II collagen (alpha1). In addition, TGF-β; BMPs 2 and 4; Smads 3, 4, 6, and 7; and TIMPs-1 and -2 were increased. In contrast, MMP-9 was strongly down-regulated. Treatment of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells with CDDO-Im and CDDO-EA (100 nM) induced expression of SOX9, collagen IIα1, and aggrecan, as well as BMP-2 and phospho-Smad5, confirming that the above triterpenoids induce chondrogenic differentiation. This is the first report of the use of these drugs for induction of chondrogenesis.
- Calvarial organ cultures
- Stem cells
- Synthetic oleanane triterpenoids
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine