TitleProspective Isolation and Characterization of Chondroprogenitors from Human Chondrocytes Based on CD166/CD34/CD146 Surface Markers.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsVinod E, Padmaja K, Livingston A, James JVarghese, Amirtham SManickam, Sathishkumar S, Ramasamy B, Rebekah G, Daniel AJob, Kachroo U
Date Published2021 Dec
KeywordsAntigens, CD, Antigens, CD34, Cartilage, Articular, CD146 Antigen, Cell Adhesion Molecules, Neuronal, Cell Differentiation, Chondrocytes, Chondrogenesis, Fetal Proteins, Humans

PURPOSE: Chondrocytes, isolated from articular cartilage, are routinely utilized in cell-based therapeutics for the treatment of cartilage pathologies. However, restoration of the biological tissue faces hindrance due to the formation of primarily fibrocartilaginous repair tissue. Chondroprogenitors have been reported to display superiority in terms of their chondrogenic potential and lesser proclivity for hypertrophy. In line with our recent results, comparing chondroprogenitors and chondrocytes, we undertook isolation of progenitors from the general pool of chondrocytes, based on surface marker expression, namely, CD166, CD34, and CD146, to eliminate off-target differentiation and generate cells of stronger chondrogenic potential. This study aimed to compare chondrocytes, chondroprogenitors, CD34-CD166+CD146+ sorted chondrocytes, and CD34-CD166+CD146- sorted chondrocytes.

METHODS: Chondrocytes obtained from 3 human osteoarthritic knee joints were subjected to sorting, to isolate CD166+ and CD34- subsets, and then were further sorted to obtain CD146+ and CD146- cells. Chondrocytes and fibronectin adhesion-derived chondroprogenitors served as controls. Assessment parameters included reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction for markers of chondrogenesis and hypertrophy, trilineage differentiation, and total GAG/DNA content.

RESULTS: Based on gene expression analysis, CD34-CD166+CD146+ sorted chondrocytes and chondroprogenitors displayed comparability and significantly higher chondrogenesis with a lower tendency for hypertrophy when compared to chondrocytes and CD34-CD166+CD146- sorted chondrocytes. The findings were also reiterated in multilineage potential differentiation with the 146+ subset and chondroprogenitors displaying lower calcification and chondroprogenitors displaying higher total GAG/DNA content compared to chondrocytes and 146- cells.

CONCLUSION: This unique progenitor-like population based on CD34-CD166+CD146+ sorting from chondrocytes exhibits efficient potential for cartilage repair and merits further evaluation for its therapeutic application.

Alternate JournalCartilage
PubMed ID34528493
PubMed Central IDPMC8804859