Co-culture with human synovium-derived mesenchymal stem cells inhibits inflammatory activity and increases cell proliferation of sodium nitroprusside-stimulated chondrocytes

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2014 May 16;447(4):715-20. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2014.04.077. Epub 2014 Apr 21.


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA) are primarily chronic inflammatory diseases. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have the ability to differentiate into cells of the mesodermal lineage, and to regulate immunomodulatory activity. Specifically, MSCs have been shown to secrete insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). The purpose of the present study was to examine the inhibitory effects on inflammatory activity from a co-culture of human synovium-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hSDMSCs) and sodium nitroprusside (SNP)-stimulated chondrocytes. First, chondrocytes were treated with SNP to generate an in vitro model of RA or OA. Next, the co-culture of hSDMSCs with SNP-stimulated chondrocytes reduced inflammatory cytokine secretion, inhibited expression of inflammation activity-related genes, generated IGF-1 secretion, and increased the chondrocyte proliferation rate. To evaluate the effect of IGF-1 on inhibition of inflammation, chondrocytes pre-treated with IGF-1 were treated with SNP, and then the production of inflammatory cytokines was analyzed. Treatment with IGF-1 was shown to significantly reduce inflammatory cytokine secretion in SNP-stimulated chondrocytes. Our results suggest that hSDMSCs offer a new strategy to promote cell-based cartilage regeneration in RA or OA.

Keywords: Chondrocyte; Co-culture system; Human synovium-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hSDMSCs); Inflammation; Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1).

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / metabolism
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / pathology
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / therapy
  • Cartilage / metabolism
  • Cartilage / pathology
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Chondrocytes / cytology*
  • Chondrocytes / drug effects
  • Chondrocytes / metabolism*
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Cytokines / biosynthesis
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Inflammation / prevention & control
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Nitroprusside / pharmacology
  • Osteoarthritis / metabolism
  • Osteoarthritis / pathology
  • Osteoarthritis / therapy
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Regeneration
  • Synovial Membrane / cytology
  • Synovial Membrane / metabolism


  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Nitroprusside
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I