Promoting effect of basic fibroblast growth factor in synovial mesenchymal stem cell-based cartilage regeneration

Gensuke Okamura, Kosuke Ebina, Makoto Hirao, Ryota Chijimatsu, Yasukazu Yonetani, Yuki Etani, Akira Miyama, Kenji Takami, Atsushi Goshima, Hideki Yoshikawa, Takuya Ishimoto, Takayoshi Nakano, Masayuki Hamada, Takashi Kanamoto, Ken Nakata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Synovial mesenchymal stem cell (SMSC) is the promising cell source of cartilage regeneration but has several issues to overcome such as limited cell proliferation and heterogeneity of cartilage regeneration ability. Previous reports demonstrated that basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) can promote proliferation and cartilage differentiation potential of MSCs in vitro, although no reports show its beneficial effect in vivo. The purpose of this study is to investigate the promoting effect of bFGF on cartilage regeneration using human SMSC in vivo. SMSCs were cultured with or without bFGF in a growth medium, and 2 × 105 cells were aggregated to form a synovial pellet. Synovial pellets were implanted into osteochondral defects induced in the femoral trochlea of severe combined immunodeficient mice, and histological evaluation was performed after eight weeks. The presence of implanted SMSCs was confirmed by the observation of human vimentin immunostaining-positive cells. Interestingly, broad lacunae structures and cartilage substrate stained by Safranin-O were observed only in the bFGF (+) group. The bFGF (+) group had significantly higher O’Driscoll scores in the cartilage repair than the bFGF (−) group. The addition of bFGF to SMSC growth culture may be a useful treatment option to promote cartilage regeneration in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Article number300
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Basic fibroblast growth factor
  • Cartilage regenera-tion
  • Synovial mesenchymal stem cells
  • Xenograft

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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