Gene expression patterns have been investigated in prolonged cultures of rat mandibular condylar cartilage (MCC) cells to examine the possibility of culture‐induced phenotypic changes. MCC cells were isolated from newborn rats and grown in the presence of 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF). MCC cells were passaged and cultured in the presence of 10% FBS and bFGF until confluent. After confluence, the medium was changed to that supplemented with 10% FBS, ascorbate, and β‐glycerophosphate (day 1). Mineralization and gene expression of MCC cells have been investigated. Mineralization, visualized by staining with Alizarin red, was observed to begin at day 13 in culture, and increased up to day 22 in culture, which was the length of this study. Type II collagen and aggrecan mRNAs were highly expressed at the start of culture (day 1–4) and decreased in a time‐dependent manner. Type I collagen, alkaline phosphatase, and osteopontin mRNAs expressed biphasic patterns that peaked at the start of culture and the beginning of mineralization (day 13–16). Osteonectin mRNA was expressed throughout the culture period. Osteocalcin mRNA was expressed before the beginning of mineralization peaking at day 7. These observations suggest that the gene expression patterns of MCC cells can be categorized into two different periods in prolonged culture: maturation (day 1–10) and mineralization (day 13–22). The cell culture system of MCC represents a new model system in which the differentiation of embryonic MCC cells can be examined.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine