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We have established that human tenocytes can differentiate in the absence of exogenous fetal bovine serum (FBS) but in the presence of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and transforming growth factor-β3 (TGF-β3). The extent of tenocyte differentiation was assessed by examining cell survival, collagen synthesis, cell morphology and expression of tenocyte differentiation markers such as scleraxis (Scx), tenomodulin (Tnmd), collagen type I (Col-I) and decorin (Dcn). Our results indicate that 50 ng/ml IGF-1 and 10 ng/ml TGF-β3 (in the absence of FBS) were capable of maintaining in vitro human tenocyte survival in 14-day cultures. The extent of collagen synthesis and messenger ribonucleic acid expression of Scx, Tnmd, Col-I and Dcn were significantly upregulated in response to IGF-1 and TGF-β3. These findings have shown for the first time that human tenocytes can be maintained in long-term culture, in serum-free conditions, making this approach a suitable one for the purpose of tendon tissue engineering.

Original publication

DOI

10.1159/000341426

Type

Journal

Cells Tissues Organs

Publication Date

2013

Volume

197

Pages

27 - 36

Keywords

Adolescent, Adult, Animals, Azo Compounds, Cattle, Cell Culture Techniques, Cell Differentiation, Cell Growth Processes, Cell Survival, Cells, Cultured, Collagen, Coloring Agents, Culture Media, Humans, Male, Staining and Labeling, Tendons, Tissue Engineering, Young Adult