IL-6/STAT3 signaling pathway contributes to chondrogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells
Objective: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent cells that can differentiate into chondrocytes. Articular cartilage contains MSC-like chondroprogenitor cells, suggesting their involvement in the maintenance of cartilage homeostasis by a self-repair mechanism. Interleukin (IL)-6 is a cytokine with a wide range of physiological functions, produced by MSCs in a steady manner and in large quantities. Thus, we investigated the involvement of IL-6 signaling in MSC differentiation into chondrocytes.
Methods: Human bone marrow-derived MSCs were cultured by pellet culture system in a medium containing TGF-β3. Chondrogenic differentiation was detected by cartilage matrix accumulation and chondrogenic marker gene expression.