Research Papers: Gerotarget (Focus on Aging):

Transfection of the IHH gene into rabbit BMSCs in a simulated microgravity environment promotes chondrogenic differentiation and inhibits cartilage aging

Peng-Cheng Liu, Kuan Liu, Jun-Feng Liu, Kuo Xia, Li-Yang Chen and Xing Wu _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:62873-62885. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11871

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Peng-Cheng Liu1, Kuan Liu1,2, Jun-Feng Liu1, Kuo Xia1, Li-Yang Chen1 and Xing Wu1

1 Department of Orthopaedics, Shanghai Tenth People’s Hospital, Tongji University, School of Medicine, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

2 Department of Rehabilitation, Taihe Hospital, Hubei University of Medicine, Shiyan, Hubei, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence to:

Xing Wu, email:

Keywords: BMSCs, hedgehog signaling pathway, Indian hedgehog, rotary cell culture system, cartilage tissue engineering, Gerotarget

Received: August 01, 2016 Accepted: September 01, 2016 Published: September 06, 2016


The effect of overexpressing the Indian hedgehog (IHH) gene on the chondrogenic differentiation of rabbit bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) was investigated in a simulated microgravity environment. An adenovirus plasmid encoding the rabbit IHH gene was constructed in vitro and transfected into rabbit BMSCs. Two large groups were used: conventional cell culture and induction model group and simulated microgravity environment group. Each large group was further divided into blank control group, GFP transfection group, and IHH transfection group. During differentiation induction, the expression levels of cartilage-related and cartilage hypertrophy-related genes and proteins in each group were determined. In the conventional model, the IHH transfection group expressed high levels of cartilage-related factors (Coll2 and ANCN) at the early stage of differentiation induction and expressed high levels of cartilage hypertrophy-related factors (Coll10, annexin 5, and ALP) at the late stage. Under the simulated microgravity environment, the IHH transfection group expressed high levels of cartilage-related factors and low levels of cartilage hypertrophy-related factors at all stages of differentiation induction. Under the simulated microgravity environment, transfection of the IHH gene into BMSCs effectively promoted the generation of cartilage and inhibited cartilage aging and osteogenesis. Therefore, this technique is suitable for cartilage tissue engineering.

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