The comparison of equine articular cartilage progenitor cells and bone marrow-derived stromal cells as potential cell sources for cartilage repair in the horse

Helen E. McCarthy, Jennifer J. Bara, Karen Brakspear, Sim K. Singhrao, Charles W. Archer
The Veterinary Journal
June 2012

A chondrocyte progenitor population isolated from the surface zone of articular cartilage presents a promising cell source for cell-based cartilage repair. In this study, equine articular cartilage progenitor cells (ACPCs) and equine bone marrow-derived stromal cells (BMSCs) were compared as potential cell sources for repair.
Clonally derived BMSCs and ACPCs demonstrated expression of the cell fate selector gene, Notch-1, and the putative stem cell markers STRO-1, CD90 and CD166. Chondrogenic induction revealed positive labelling for collagen type II and aggrecan. Collagen type X was not detected in ACPC pellets but was observed in all BMSC pellets. In addition, it was observed that BMSCs labelled for Runx2 and matrilin-1 antibodies, whereas ACPC labelling was significantly less or absent. For both cell types, osteogenic induction revealed positive von Kossa staining in addition to positive labelling for osteocalcin.

Adipogenic induction revealed a positive result via oil red O staining in both cell types. ACPCs and BMSCs have demonstrated functional equivalence in their multipotent differentiation capacity. Chondrogenic induction of BMSCs resulted in a hypertrophic cartilage (endochondral) phenotype, which can limit cartilage repair as the tissue can undergo mineralisation. ACPCs may therefore be considered superior to BMSCs in producing cartilage capable of functional repair.