Synergistic effect of IGF-1 and OP-1 on matrix formation by normal and OA chondrocytes cultured in alginate beads

S. Chubinskaya, A. Hakimiyan, C. Pacione, A. Yanke, L. Rappoport, T. Aigner, D. C. Rueger, R. F. Loeser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Growth factor therapy may be useful for stimulation of cartilage matrix synthesis and repair. Thus, the purpose of our study was to further understand the effect of combined insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and osteogenic protein-1 (OP-1) treatment on the matrix synthesized by human adult normal and osteoarthritic (OA) chondrocytes. Design: Chondrocytes were isolated post-mortem from articular cartilage from tali of normal human donors and femoral condyles of OA patients undergoing knee replacement surgery. Cells were cultured in alginate beads for 21 days in four experimental groups: (1) "mini-ITS" control; (2) 100 ng/ml IGF-1; (3) 100 ng/ml OP-1; (4) IGF-1 + OP-1, each at 100 ng/ml. Beads were processed for histological (Safranin O and fast green), morphometrical and immunohistochemical (aggrecan, decorin, type I, II, VI, and X collagens, and fibronectin accumulation) analyses. Results: Histology showed that IGF-1 alone did not induce substantial matrix production. OP-1 alone caused a considerable matrix formation, but the highest matrix accumulation by normal and OA chondrocytes was found when OP-1 and IGF-1 were added together. Morphometrical analysis indicated larger matrices produced by OA chondrocytes than by normal cells under the combined treatment. All tested matrix proteins were more abundant in the combination group. Type X collagen was detected only under the combined OP-1 and IGF-1 treatment and was present at very low levels. Type I collagen was found only in OA chondrocytes. Conclusions: The results obtained in the current study suggest that combined therapy with IGF-1 and OP-1 may have a greater potential in treating cartilage defects seen in OA than use of either growth factor alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-430
Number of pages10
JournalOsteoarthritis and Cartilage
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Extracellular matrix
  • Growth factors
  • Human normal chondrocytes
  • Human OA chondrocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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