Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) superfamily proteins play a critical role in proliferation, differentiation, and other functions of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). During chondrogenic differentiation of MSCs, TGF-β up-regulates chondrogenic gene expression by enhancing the expression of the transcription factor SRY (sex-determining region Y)-box9 (Sox9). In this study, we investigated the effect of continuous TGF-β1 overexpression in human synovium-derived MSCs (hSD-MSCs) on immunophenotype, differentiation potential, and proliferation rate. hSD-MSCs were transduced with recombinant retroviruses (rRV) encoding TGF-β1. The results revealed that continuous overexpression of TGF-β1 did not affect their phenotype as evidenced by flow cytometry and reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR). In addition, continuous TGF-β1 overexpression strongly enhanced cell proliferation of hSD-MSCs compared to the control groups. Also, induction of chondrogenesis was more effective in rRV-TGFB-transduced hSD-MSCs as shown by RT-PCR for chondrogenic markers, toluidine blue staining and glycosaminoglycan (GAG)/DNA ratio. Our data suggest that overexpression of TGF-β1 positively enhances the proliferation and chondrogenic potential of hSD-MSCs.
Keywords: Chondrogenic differentiation; Proliferation; Synovium-derived mesenchymal stem cell; TGF-β.
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