Platelet-Derived Growth Factor Stimulated Migration of Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells into an Injectable Gelatin-Hydroxyphenyl Propionic Acid Matrix

Biomedicines. 2021 Feb 17;9(2):203. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines9020203.


Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (bMSCs) are responsible in the repair of injured tissue through differentiation into multiple cell types and secretion of paracrine factors, and thus have a broad application profile in tissue engineering/regenerative medicine, especially for the musculoskeletal system. The lesion due to injury or disease may be a closed irregular-shaped cavity deep within tissue necessitating an injectable biomaterial permissive of host (endogenous) cell migration, proliferation and differentiation. Gelatin-hydroxyphenyl propionic acid (Gtn-HPA) is a natural biopolymer hydrogel which is covalently cross-linked by horseradish peroxidase (HRP) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in situ and can be delivered to the lesion by needle injection. Growth factors and cytokines can be directly incorporated into the gel or into nano- and micro-particles, which can be employed for sustained release of biomolecules while maintaining their bioactivity. In this study, we selected polyelectrolyte complex nanoparticles (PCNs) prepared with dextran sulfate and chitosan as the carrier for platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-BB and stromal cell-derived factor (SDF)-1α, which have been tested effectively in recruiting stem cells. Our in vitro results showed a high degree of viability of bMSCs through the process of Gtn-HPA covalent cross-linking gelation. The Gtn-HPA matrix was highly permissive of bMSC migration, proliferation, and differentiation. PDGF-BB (20 ng/mL) directly incorporated into the gel and, alternatively, released from PCNs stimulated bMSC migration and proliferation. There were only small differences in the results for the direct incorporation of PDGF into the gel compared with its release from PCNs, and for increased doses of the growth factor (200 ng/mL and 2 µg/mL). In contrast, SDF-1α elicited an increase in migration and proliferation only when released from PCNs; its effect on migration was notably less than PDGF-BB. The in vitro results demonstrate that PDGF-BB substantially increases migration of bMSCs into Gtn-HPA and their proliferation in the gel, and that these benefits can be derived from incorporation of a relatively low dose of the growth factor directly into the gel. These findings commend the use of Gtn-HPA/PDGF-BB as an injectable therapeutic agent to treat defects in musculoskeletal tissues.

Keywords: bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells; migration; platelet-derived growth factor; proliferation; stromal cell-derived factor-1α.