Artificial extracellular matrices of collagen and sulphated hyaluronan enhance the differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells in the presence of dexamethasone

J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2014 Apr;8(4):314-24. doi: 10.1002/term.1528. Epub 2012 Jun 20.


In this study we investigated the potential of artificial extracellular matrix (aECM) coatings containing collagen II and two types of glycosaminoglycan (GAGs) with different degrees of sulphation to promote human bone formation in biomedical applications. To this end their impact on growth and osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) was assessed. The cell proliferation was found to be significantly retarded in the first 14 days of culture on surfaces coated with collagen II and GAGs (coll-II/GAG) as compared to tissue culture polystyrol (TCPS) and those coated with collagen II. At later time points it only tended to be retarded on coll-II/sHya3.1. Heat-inactivation of the serum significantly reduced cell numbers on collagen II and coll-II/sHya3.1. Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and calcium deposition, on the other hand, were higher for coatings containing sHya3.1 and were not significantly changed by heat-inactivation of the serum. Expression levels of the bone matrix proteins bone sialoprotein (BSP-II) and osteopontin (OP) were also increased on aECM coatings as compared to TCPS, which further validated the differentiation of hMSCs towards the osteogenic lineage. These observations reveal that aECM coatings, in particular those containing sHya3.1, are suitable to promote the osteogenic differentiation of hMSCs.

Keywords: artificial extracellular matrix; cell culture; collagen II; mesenchymal stem cells; osteogenic differentiation; sulphated hyaluronic acid/hyaluronan (sHya).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alkaline Phosphatase / metabolism
  • Base Sequence
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Collagen / metabolism*
  • DNA Primers
  • Dexamethasone / pharmacology*
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronic Acid / chemistry
  • Hyaluronic Acid / metabolism*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / enzymology
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sulfates / chemistry*
  • Young Adult


  • DNA Primers
  • Sulfates
  • Dexamethasone
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Collagen
  • Alkaline Phosphatase
  • Calcium