Non-viral endostatin plasmid transfection of mesenchymal stem cells via collagen scaffolds

Biomaterials. 2009 Feb;30(6):1222-31. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2008.10.020. Epub 2008 Dec 6.


Angiogenesis is critical in the early stage of reparative processes and tissue regeneration, but the persistence of a vascular network may interfere with later transformation/maturation in naturally avascular tissues such as articular cartilage. Our supposition is that the timed delivery of an anti-angiogenic factor in cartilage tissue engineering may facilitate the formation of hyaline cartilage by inducing the regression of vascularization. To this end our overall goal is to prepare an off-the-shelf scaffold containing the gene for a potent anti-angiogenic factor. The objective of this study was to investigate the use of a type I/III collagen scaffold for the non-viral transfection of marrow stromal cells (MSCs, also referred to as mesenchymal stem cells) with the plasmid encoding endostatin. Caprine MSCs were transfected by the naked plasmid alone and plasmid incorporated into a cationic lipid complex in three experiments: 1) cells were transfected in monolayer; 2) monolayer-transfected cells were grown in a collagen sponge-like scaffold; and 3) non-transfected cells were grown in a collagen scaffold containing the naked plasmid and endostatin lipoplex. Independent variables were the passage number of the cells and the plasmid loading. The amount of endostatin released by the cells into the medium was measured using an ELISA. The results demonstrated the overexpression of endostatin by MSCs growing in the endostatin lipoplex-supplemented collagen scaffolds. Endostatin released by the cell-seeded scaffolds reached a peak of 13ng/ml for scaffolds incorporating as little as 20mug of plasmid, at the 3-day collection period ending 5 days post-seeding. The accumulated endostatin synthesis over a 2-week period began to achieve what may be a therapeutic level. MSCs transfected with the endostatin gene in monolayer continued to express the gene when grown in the collagen scaffolds. The results demonstrate the promise of the non-viral delivery of the gene for this potent anti-angiogenic protein to MSCs via a collagen scaffold.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Assay
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chondrogenesis
  • Collagen / metabolism*
  • Culture Media
  • DNA / analysis
  • Electrophoresis, Agar Gel
  • Endostatins / genetics*
  • Goats
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Plasmids / genetics*
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Scaffolds*
  • Transfection*


  • Culture Media
  • Endostatins
  • Collagen
  • DNA