The Phenotypic Characterization of A13/BACii, a Novel Bovine Chondrocytic Cell Line with Differentiation Potential

Ala Qusous, Magdalena Kaneva, Vedia C. Can, Stephen J. Getting, Mark J. P. Kerrigan

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    In cartilage research bovine articular cartilage is used as an alternative to human tissue. However, animal material is subject to availability and primary cultures undergo senescence, limiting their use. Here we report the immortalization of primary bovine chondrocytes, which could be used as a surrogate for freshly isolated chondrocytes. Chondrocytes were isolated from cartilage explants and immortalized using 1.0 mu g/ml benzo[alpha]pyrene. For 3-dimensional culture, chondrocytes were resuspended in 0.5% low-melt agarose at high density (HD) and cultured for 24 h prior to determining changes in expression profile and morphology. A13/BACii chondrocytes acquired a 'flat' irregular morphology and a foetal-like cell volume (1,509.59 +/- 182.04 mu m(3)). The human cell line C-20/A4 showed a statistically similar volume and length to A13/BACii. Two-dimensional-cultured A13/BACii expressed elevated levels of type I collagen (coil), reduced levels of type II collagen (col2) compared to freshly isolated chondrocytes and an overall col2 to con expression ratio (col2:col1) of 0.11 +/- 0.01. Upon 3-dimensional encapsulation, there was a significant rise in col2 expression in both A13/BACii and C-20/A4, suggesting a capacity for redifferentiation in both cell lines with a return of col2:col1 values of A13/BACii to values previously observed in primary chondrocytes. A13/BACii chondrocytes expressed aggrecan, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-3, MMP-9 and MMP-13, further supporting indications of the differentiated phenotype. Here we report the creation of a novel chondrocytic cell line and demonstrate its strong potential for redifferentiation upon HD 3-dimensional encapsulation, providing an alternative to conventional dedifferentiated cell lines and primary culture. Copyright (C) 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)251-261
    Number of pages11
    JournalCells Tissues Organs
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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