Fibronectin enhances cartilage repair by activating progenitor cells through integrin α5β1 Receptor

Tianqi Tao, Yang Li, Chang Gui, Yong Ma, Yingbin Ge, Hanhao Dai, Kaibin Zhang, Jing Du, Yang Guo, Yiqiu Jiang, Jianchao Gui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This study aimed to determine the effect of fibronectin (FN) on cartilage regeneration through the activation of chondrogenic progenitor cells (CPCs). Cells were isolated from the knee cartilage of mice and cultured in the presence of various concentrations of FN. Proliferation, migration, and chondrogenic differentiation assays were performed in vitro. In some experiments, CPCs were preincubated with anti-integrin α5β1 antibody for 60 min before FN treatment to block the integrin α5β1 receptor. Soluble FN was mixed with Pluronic F-127 and injected into the joint cavity in an early-stage osteoarthritis model. Cartilage repair was evaluated histologically, biochemically, and biomechanically. In vitro, we observed that the isolated CPCs, which exhibited stem cell-relevant markers, proliferated most at a concentration of 20 μg/mL FN (p < 0.05). In addition, FN enhanced the proliferation, migration, and chondrogenic differentiation capacity of CPCs, and the enhancement was significantly decreased by blockade of the integrin α5β1 receptor (p < 0.05). In vivo, FN also significantly promoted cartilage repair along with increased CPC activation and integrin α5β1 expression (p < 0.05). These findings suggest that FN enhances CPC proliferation, migration, and chondrogenic differentiation through the integrin α5β1-dependent signaling pathway. Based on these results, a novel and promising therapy focused on targeted activation of CPCs by FN could be developed for the treatment of cartilage injuries in a clinical setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1112-1124
Number of pages13
JournalTissue Engineering - Part A
Issue number13-14
StatePublished - Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • cartilage repair
  • chondrogenic progenitor cell
  • fibronectin
  • integrin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Fibronectin enhances cartilage repair by activating progenitor cells through integrin α5β1 Receptor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this