Laminins and nidogens in the pericellular matrix of chondrocytes their role in osteoarthritis and chondrogenic differentiation
Cell Adhesion Molecules
The aim of this study was to investigate the role of laminins and nidogen-2 in osteoarthritis (OA) and their potential to support chondrogenic differentiation. We applied immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy, siRNA, quantitative RT-PCR, Western blot, and proteome analysis for the investigation of cartilage tissue and isolated chondrocytes in three-dimensional culture obtained from patients with late-stage knee OA and nidogen-2 knockout mice. We demonstrate that subunits of laminins appear in OA cartilage and that nidogen-2-null mice exhibit typical osteoarthritic features. Chondrogenic progenitor cells (CPCs) produced high levels of laminin-α1, laminin-α5, and nidogen-2 in their pericellular matrix, and laminin-α1 enhanced collagen type II and reduced collagen type I expression by cultured CPCs. Nidogen-2 increased SOX9 gene expression. Knockdown of nidogen-2 reduced SOX9 expression, whereas it up-regulated RUNX2 expression. This study reveals that the influence of the pericellular matrix on CPCs is important for the expression of the major regulator transcription factors, SOX9 and RUNX2. Our novel findings that laminins and nidogen-2 drive CPCs toward chondrogenesis may help in the elucidation of new treatment strategies for cartilage tissue regeneration.