Cartilage Tissue Engineering Via Icariin and Adipose-derived Stem Cells in Fibrin Scaffold

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Anatomical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Isfahan, Iran


3 Department of Anatomical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, Hormozgan, Iran

4 Department of Anatomical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine; Torabinejad Dental Research Center, Dental School, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background: Nowadays, cartilage tissue engineering is the best candidate for regeneration of cartilage defects. This study evaluates the function of herbal extracts icariin (ICA), the major pharmacological constituent of herba Epimedium, compared with transforming growth factor β3 (TGFβ3) to prove its potential effect for cartilage tissue engineering. Materials and Methods: ICA, TGFβ3, and TGFβ3 + ICA were added fibrin-cell constructions derived from adipose tissue stem cells. After 14 days, cell viability analyzed by 3-(4,5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2,5-diphenyl-2H- tetrazolium bromide assay and the expression of cartilage genes was evaluated with real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Results: The results showed ICA, TGFβ3, and TGFβ3 + ICA increased the rate of proliferation and viability of cells; but there were no significant differences between them (P > 0.05). Furthermore, quantitative RT-PCR analysis demonstrated that cooperation of ICA with TGFβ3 showed a better effect in expression of cartilaginous specific genes and increased Sox9, type II collagen, and aggrecan expression significantly. Furthermore, the results of the expression of type I and X collagens revealed that TGFβ3 increased the expression of them (P < 0.01); However, treatment with ICA + TGFβ3 down regulated the expression of these genes significantly. Conclusion: The results indicated ICA could be a potential factor for chondrogenesis and in cooperation with TGFβ3 could reduce its hypertrophic effects and it is a promising factor for cartilage tissue engineering.


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