Objective: To determine whether differentiated chondrocytes are motile. Design: Calf articular chondrocytes isolated from six animals were cultured in spinner flasks and removed on days 3 and 7. Boyden chamber assays and time-lapse videomicroscopy were performed to monitor and quantify cell migration. A novel method for selectively harvesting and metabolically labeling the migrated cells was developed, based on cell movement to the underside of the Boyden chamber membranes. The 3H-collagen synthesized by these cells was purified and analyzed by SDS-PAGE and autoradiography either before or after cyanogen bromide cleavage. Results: In Boyden chambers, locomotion of day 3 chondrocytes on fibronectin-coated membranes was ∼3-fold higher than on bovine serum albumin-coated controls (39±15 vs 12±8 cells/mm2, respectively (P=0.005)). Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I, 10 ng/ml) was chemotactic, increasing motility to 87±16 cells/mm- (difference from fibronectin alone: P=0.0003). A similar response was observed for day 7 cells, but IGF-I activation was not as pronounced (P=0.055). The collagen patterns produced by the migrated cells closely resembled those of standard collagen type II, without any evidence of collagen I production. In videotracking experiments, motile cells attached on fibronectin exhibited typical lamellipodia and filopodia, and ∼30% of attached cells were motile (speed >1 μm/h and directional persistence >1 h). Typical cell path lengths were 30-50 μm, substantially greater than a full cell length displacement. Conclusion: A population of well-differentiated chondrocytes capable of matrix (COL II) synthesis are motile in vitro. This original finding opens new avenues to study the potential of motile cells for cartilage repair. © 2003 OsteoArthritis Research Society International. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Chang, C., Lauffenburger, D. A., & Morales, T. I. (2003). Motile chondrocytes from newborn calf: Migration properties and synthesis of collagen II. Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 11(8), 603–612. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1063-4584(03)00087-6