Cobalt-containing bioactive glasses reduce human mesenchymal stem cell chondrogenic differentiation despite HIF-1α stabilisation.
Littmann E., Autefage H., Solanki AK., Kallepitis C., Jones JR., Alini M., Peroglio M., Stevens MM.
Bioactive glasses (BGs) are excellent delivery systems for the sustained release of therapeutic ions and have been extensively studied in the context of bone tissue engineering. More recently, due to their osteogenic properties and expanding application to soft tissue repair, BGs have been proposed as promising materials for use at the osteochondral interface. Since hypoxia plays a critical role during cartilage formation, we sought to investigate the influence of BGs releasing the hypoxia-mimicking agent cobalt (CoBGs) on human mesenchymal stem cell (hMSC) chondrogenesis, as a novel approach that may guide future osteochondral scaffold design. The CoBG dissolution products significantly increased the level of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha in hMSCs in a cobalt dose-dependent manner. Continued exposure to the cobalt-containing BG extracts significantly reduced hMSC proliferation and metabolic activity, as well as chondrogenic differentiation. Overall, this study demonstrates that prolonged exposure to cobalt warrants careful consideration for cartilage repair applications.