Mesenchymal stem cells genetically engineered to express platelet-derived growth factor and heme oxygenase-1 ameliorate osteoarthritis in a canine model.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are used for the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA), and MSC genetic engineering is expected to enhance cartilage repair. Here, we aimed to investigate the effect of MSCs overexpressing platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) or heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) in chondrocytes and synovial cells with an OA phenotype and assess the in vivo efficacy of intra-articular injections of these MSCs in canine OA models.Canine adipose-derived MSCs were transfected with canine PDGF (PDGF-MSCs) or HO-1 (HO-1-MSCs) using lentiviral vectors. Canine chondrocytes or synovial cells were stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to mimic the inflammatory OA model and then co-cultured with MSCs, PDGF-MSCs, or HO-1-MSCs for 24 h and 72 h. The mRNA levels of pro-inflammatory, extracellular matrix-degradative/synthetic, or pain-related factors were measured after co-culture by real-time PCR. Furthermore, a surgery-induced canine OA model was established and the dogs were randomized into four groups: normal saline (n = 4), MSCs (n = 4), PDGF-MSCs (n = 4), and HO-1-MSCs (n = 4). The OA symptoms, radiographic OA severity, and serum matrix metallopeptidase (MMP)-13 levels were assessed before and 10 weeks after treatment, to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the modified MSCs.PDGF or HO-1 overexpression significantly reduced the expression of pro-inflammatory factors, MMP-13, and nerve growth factor elicited by LPS and increased that of aggrecan and collagen type 2 in chondrocytes (P