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Stem Cells International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 640218, 11 pages
Research Article

Modulation of Hyaluronan Synthesis by the Interaction between Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Osteoarthritic Chondrocytes

1Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, No. 627/701, 05652-900 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
2Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology Program, Federal University of São Paulo, No. 100, 04044-020 São Paulo, SP, Brazil
3Orthopedic Division, Federal University of São Paulo, No. 783, 04038-031 São Paulo, SP, Brazil

Received 13 November 2014; Revised 11 December 2014; Accepted 2 January 2015

Academic Editor: Mark F. Pittenger

Copyright © 2015 Eliane Antonioli et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) are considered a good source for cellular therapy in cartilage repair. But, their potential to repair the extracellular matrix, in an osteoarthritic environment, is still controversial. In osteoarthritis (OA), anti-inflammatory action and extracellular matrix production are important steps for cartilage healing. This study examined the interaction of BM-MSC and OA-chondrocyte on the production of hyaluronan and inflammatory cytokines in a Transwell system. We compared cocultured BM-MSCs and OA-chondrocytes with the individually cultured controls (monocultures). There was a decrease in BM-MSCs cell count in coculture with OA-chondrocytes when compared to BM-MSCs alone. In monoculture, BM-MSCs produced higher amounts of hyaluronan than OA-chondrocytes and coculture of BM-MSCs with OA-chondrocytes increased hyaluronan production per cell. Hyaluronan synthase-1 mRNA expression was upregulated in BM-MSCs after coculture with OA-chondrocytes, whereas hyaluronidase-1 was downregulated. After coculture, lower IL-6 levels were detected in BM-MSCs compared with OA-chondrocytes. These results indicate that, in response to coculture with OA-chondrocytes, BM-MSCs change their behavior by increasing production of hyaluronan and decreasing inflammatory cytokines. Our results indicate that BM-MSCs per se could be a potential tool for OA regenerative therapy, exerting short-term effects on the local microenvironment even when cell:cell contact is not occurring.