4 years ago

Characterization of the chondrocyte secretome in photoclickable poly(ethylene glycol) hydrogels

Characterization of the chondrocyte secretome in photoclickable poly(ethylene glycol) hydrogels
Stephanie J. Bryant, Christopher A. Barnes, Margaret C. Schneider
Poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) hydrogels are highly tunable platforms that are promising cell delivery vehicles for chondrocytes and cartilage tissue engineering. In addition to characterizing the type of extracellular matrix (ECM) that forms, understanding the types of proteins that are secreted by encapsulated cells may be important. Thus, the objectives for this study were to characterize the secretome of chondrocytes encapsulated in PEG hydrogels and determine whether the secretome varies as a function of hydrogel stiffness and culture condition. Bovine chondrocytes were encapsulated in photoclickable PEG hydrogels with a compressive modulus of 8 and 46 kPa and cultured under free swelling or dynamic compressive loading conditions. Cartilage ECM deposition was assessed by biochemical assays and immunohistochemistry. The conditioned medium was analyzed by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Chondrocytes maintained their phenotype within the hydrogels and deposited cartilage-specific ECM that increased over time and included aggrecan and collagens II and VI. Analysis of the secretome revealed a total of 64 proteins, which were largely similar among all experimental conditions. The identified proteins have diverse functions such as biological regulation, response to stress, and collagen fibril organization. Notably, many of the proteins important to the assembly of a collagen-rich cartilage ECM were identified and included collagen types II(α1), VI (α1, α2, and α3), IX (α1), XI (α1 and α2), and biglycan. In addition, many of the other identified proteins have been reported to be present within cell-secreted exosomes. In summary, chondrocytes encapsulated within photoclickable PEG hydrogels secrete many types of proteins that diffuse out of the hydrogel and which have diverse functions, but which are largely preserved across different hydrogel culture environments. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2017;114: 2096–2108. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. The chondrocyte secretome was characterized for chondrocytes cultured in different environments within hydrogels of varying stiffness and subjected either to no loading or to physiologically relevant dynamic loading. A total of 64 proteins was identified which encompassed a broad range of biological responses ranging from response to stress to collagen fibril organization. While the chondrocytes were highly active within the hydrogels, the types of identified proteins within the secretome were largely unaffected by the culture environment.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/bit.26320

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