MicroRNA Expression During Chondrogenic Differentiation and Inflammation of Equine Cells
Understanding the molecular networks that maintain articular cartilage and regulate chondrogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are important prerequisites for the improvement of cartilage repair strategies. The first study within this thesis demonstrates that equine cord blood-derived MSCs induced towards a chondrogenic phenotype showed significantly increased miR-140 expression from day 0 to day 14, which was accompanied by decreased expression of previously identified miR-140 targets; ADAMTS-5 and CXCL12. The second study shows that in vitro chondrogenesis on fibronectin coated-PTFE inserts results in more homogeneous hyaline-like cartilage with an increased number of differentiated cells compared with pellet cultures. Finally, the expression of miR-140, miR-9, miR-155 and miR-146a was investigated in an in vitro model of osteoarthritis and suggests a possible role for miR-146a. These results suggest that microRNAs may be useful for directing or enhancing eCB-MSC chondrogenic differentiation and for developing novel biomarker panels of in vivo joint health.