Dedifferentiation of chondrocyte greatly restricts its function and application, however, it is poorly understood except a small number of canonical markers. The non-cell-adhesive property endows polysaccharide hydrogel with the ability to maintain chondrocyte phenotype, which can serve as a platform to identify new molecular markers and therapeutic targets of chondrocyte dedifferentiation. In this study, researchers at Qingdao University first performed the high-throughput RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) on articular chondrocytes at primary (P0) and passage 1 (P1) stages to explore the global alteration of gene expression along with chondrocyte dedifferentiation. Significantly, several potential marker genes, such as PFKFB3, KDM6B, had been identified via comparatively analyzing their expression in P0 and P1 chondrocytes as well as in 3D constructs (i.e. chondrocyte-laden alginate hydrogel and HA-MA hydrogel) at both mRNA and protein level. Besides, the changes in cellular morphology and enriched pathway of differentially expressed genes during chondrocyte dedifferentiation was studied in detail. This study developed the use of hydrogel as a platform to investigate chondrocyte dedifferentiation; the results provided new molecular markers and potential therapeutic targets of chondrocyte dedifferentiation.
3D hydrogel combined with RNA sequencing serves as a platform to identify potential markers of chondrocyte dedifferentiation
Ling Y, Zhang W, Wang P, Xie W, Yang W, Wang DA, Fan C. (2021) Three-dimensional (3D) hydrogel serves as a platform to identify potential markers of chondrocyte dedifferentiation by combining RNA sequencing. Bioact Mater 6(9):2914-2926. [article]