Impact of chitosan membrane culture on the expression of pro‑ and anti‑inflammatory cytokines in mesenchymal stem cells
- Peng Yi
- Xiongfeng Xu
- Bo Qiu
- Huajie Li
Affiliations: Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei 430060, P.R. China
- Published online on: August 7, 2020 https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2020.9108
Copyright: © Yi
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Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic inflammatory joint condition caused by various inflammatory cytokines. The pro‑inflammatory cytokines controlling OA include interleukin (IL)‑1β, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)‑α, IL‑6 and IL‑18. The anti‑inflammatory cytokines include IL‑4, IL‑10, IL‑13, leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF), glycoprotein 130 (IL6ST), TNF‑α‑stimulated gene 6 and transforming growth factor (TGF)‑β1. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) serve an anti‑inflammatory role in the treatment of OA by secreting various cytokines. Previous studies demonstrated that the anti‑inflammatory ability of MSCs decreased rapidly in a traditional plate culture. Maintaining the anti‑inflammatory properties of MSCs in vitro remains challenging. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a more stable and efficient method to culture MSCs in vitro. Chitosan is a deacetylated derivative of chitin and is the second most abundant natural polysaccharide worldwide. The present study demonstrated that that MSCs cultured on chitosan membranes (CM) spontaneously formed multicellular spheroids. Compared with the control group without CM, the formation of multicellular spheres in the CM enhanced the anti‑inflammatory properties of MSCs. Expression levels of pro‑ and anti‑inflammatory genes mRNA and their proteins in MSCs were detected by reverse transcription‑quantitative PCR, western blot analysis and immunofluorescence assay. Protein and mRNA expression levels of pro‑inflammatory cytokines IL‑1β, TNF‑α, IL‑6 and IL‑18 were significantly decreased in CM‑cultured MSCs compared with the control group (P<0.05). Furthermore, mRNA and protein expression levels of anti‑inflammatory cytokines TGF‑β1 in CM‑cultured MSCs were significantly increased compared with the control group (P<0.01). These results indicated that the formation of multicellular spheroids by CM‑cultured MSCs aided in maintaining anti‑inflammatory effects.