Modulation of the actin cytoskeleton in chondrocytes has been used to prevent or reverse dedifferentiation and to enhance protein synthesis. We have hypothesized that an actin-modifying agent, staurosporine, could be used with fibrochondrocytes to increase the gene expression and synthesis of critical fibrocartilage proteins. A range of concentrations (0.1-100 nM) was applied to fibrochondrocytes in monolayer and evaluated after 24 h and after 4 days. High-dose staurosporine treatment (10-100 nM) increased cartilage oligomeric matrix protein 60- to 500-fold and aggrecan gene expression two-fold. This effective range of staurosporine was then applied to scaffoldless tissue-engineered fibrochondrocyte constructs for 4 weeks. Whereas glycosaminoglycan synthesis was not affected, collagen content doubled, from 27.6∈±∈8.8 μg in the untreated constructs to 55.2∈±∈12.2 μg per construct with 100 nM treatment. When analyzed for specific collagens, the 10-nM group showed a significant increase in collagen type I content, whereas collagen type II was unaffected. A concomitant dose-dependent reduction was noted in construct contraction, reflecting the actin-disrupting action of staurosporine. Thus, staurosporine increases the gene expression for important matrix proteins and can be used to enhance matrix production and reduce contraction in tissue-engineered fibrocartilage constructs.
- α-Smooth muscle actin
- Tissue engineering
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Cell Biology