Cell and tissue research

Lovastatin protects chondrocytes derived from Wharton's jelly of human cord against hydrogen-peroxide-induced in vitro injury.

PMID 23271636


Our aim was to improve the survival and reduce the apoptosis of chondrocytes derived from mesenchymal stem cells from Wharton's jelly of human umbilical cord (WJMSCs) by Lovastatin supplementation under hydrogen-peroxide-induced injury conditions to simulate the osteoarthritic micro-environment. Chondrocytes were differentiated in vitro from WJMSCs. The cultured WJMSCs expressed CD90 (84.07%), CD105 (80.84%), OCT4 (26.90%), CD45 (0.42%) and CD34 (0.48%) as determined by flow cytometry. Increased aggregation of proteoglycans observed by Safranin-O staining accompanied by increased expression of COL2A1, ACAN, SOX9 and BGN shown by immunocytochemistry and reverse transcription with the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) confirmed the chondrogenic differentiation of the WJMSCs. The in vitro differentiated chondrocytes were subjected to oxidative stress by exposure to 200 μM hydrogen peroxide, either in the presence or absence of Lovastatin (2 μM) for 5 h. Lovastatin treatment resulted in decreased apoptosis, senescence and LDH release and in increased viability and proliferation of WJMSC-derived chondrocytes. Real time PCR analysis showed markedly up-regulated expression of prosurvival, proliferation and chondrogenic genes (BCL2L1, BCL2, AKT, PCNA, COL2A1, ACAN, SOX9 and BGN) and significantly down-regulated expression of pro-apoptotic genes (BAX, FADD) in the Lovastatin-treated group in comparison with injured cells. The reduced expression of VEGF and p53 as determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and PCR suggests the suitability of the use of Lovastatin in adjunct to WJMSC-derived chondrocytes for the treatment of osteoarthritis. We conclude that Lovastatin protects WJMSC-derived chondrocytes from hydrogen-peroxide-induced in vitro injury.