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Journal Article

Changes in Morphology, Gene Expression and Protein Content in Chondrocytes Cultured on a Random Positioning Machine


Bauer,  Johann
Scientific Service Groups, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Aleshcheva, G., Sahana, J., Ma, X., Hauslage, J., Hemmersbach, R., Egli, M., et al. (2013). Changes in Morphology, Gene Expression and Protein Content in Chondrocytes Cultured on a Random Positioning Machine. PLOS ONE, 8(11): e79057. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0079057.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0014-D0BB-6
Tissue engineering of chondrocytes on a Random Positioning Machine (RPM) is a new strategy for cartilage regeneration. Using a three-dimensional RPM, a device designed to simulate microgravity on Earth, we investigated the early effects of RPM exposure on human chondrocytes of six different donors after 30 min, 2 h, 4 h, 16 h, and 24 h and compared the results with the corresponding static controls cultured under normal gravity conditions. As little as 30 min of RPM exposure resulted in increased expression of several genes responsible for cell motility, structure and integrity (beta-actin); control of cell growth, cell proliferation, cell differentiation and apoptosis (TGF-beta(1), osteopontin); and cytoskeletal components such as microtubules (beta-tubulin) and intermediate filaments (vimentin). After 4 hours of RPM exposure disruptions in the vimentin network were detected. These changes were less dramatic after 16 hours on the RPM, when human chondrocytes appeared to reorganize their cytoskeleton. However, the gene expression and protein content of TGF-beta(1) was enhanced during RPM culture for 24 h. Taking these results together, we suggest that chondrocytes exposed to the RPM seem to change their extracellular matrix production behaviour while they rearrange their cytoskeletal proteins prior to forming three-dimensional aggregates.