Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Role of Sox9 in Collagen Hydrogel-Mediated Chondrogenic Differentiation of Adult Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs)


Sox9 is a transcription factor that regulates chondrogenesis, but its role in chondrogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) triggered by materials is poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the effect of Sox9 interference on collagen-induced chondrogenesis and further collagen-based therapies for cartilage defects. In this paper, MSCs were infected by a vector carrying the Sox9 promoter and related markers were detected. A lentivirus-mediated vector targeting the silencing of the Sox9 gene was used in bone marrow-derived MSCs prior to being encapsulated in collagen hydrogel. Collagen hydrogel as a sole inducer was also compared with transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1). Before implanted into the articular cartilage defect in rats, the cell-hydrogel pellets were cultured in vitro for 14 days. The effect of Sox9 transfection on cell proliferation was evaluated by measuring the total DNA content. Safranin-O staining and biochemistry assay was performed to assess the synthesis and secretion of glycosaminoglycan (GAG) of MSCs. Real-time fluorescent quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was performed to detect the gene expression levels of Col1a1, Col2a1, Acan and Sox9. The protein expression of collagen type II and collagen type I was analyzed by immunohistochemical analysis. Collagen alone significantly increased luciferase activity of the Sox9 promoter, which was in parallel with the upregulation of cartilage specific markers. In vitro, the chondrogenic differentiation ability of MSCs was greatly inhibited after Sox9 interference, both in the collagen and TGF-β1-induced groups. In vivo, further study showed that cartilage regeneration was arrested by using transfected MSCs with injectable collagen gel or induced by TGF-β1. The results indicated that collagen may mediate Sox9 expression by providing a biomimetic microenvironment favoring cell condensation prior to chondrogenesis. The role of Sox9 regulation by materials is similar to that by growth factors, suggesting that well-designed scaffolds may replace growth factors in chondrogenesis. Thus, interventions targeting Sox9 may help improve articular cartilage repair.

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 16 Mar 2018, accepted on 08 Apr 2018 and first published on 11 Apr 2018

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8BM00317C
Citation: Biomater. Sci., 2018, Accepted Manuscript
  •   Request permissions

    Role of Sox9 in Collagen Hydrogel-Mediated Chondrogenic Differentiation of Adult Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs)

    X. Jiang, X. Huang, T. Jiang, L. Zheng, J. Zhao and X. Zhang, Biomater. Sci., 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C8BM00317C

Search articles by author