Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
Cultures of primary chondrocytes as in vitro model systems for studying the cellular behavior of chondrocytes are notoriously difficult to cultivate and propagate. One way to circumvent these problems appears to be the use of immortalized/immortal chondrocytic cell lines. In the present study, we were interested whether the chondrosarcoma derived HCS-2/8 cells are suitable for studying major cellular reaction pattern in response to key anabolic (BMP-7) and catabolic (IL-1beta) factors. Therefore, we used cDNA array and real-time PCR technology in order to evaluate gene expression triggered by stimulation with IL-1beta (0,1-100 ng/ml) and BMP-7 in confluent monolayer cultures. HCS-2/8 cells hardly responded to IL-1beta, but showed good responsiveness to BMP-7. We found 12 genes up- and 17 significantly down-regulated by BMP-7 (out of 340 investigated genes). Besides the expected activation of anabolic genes chondrocytic cells after BMP-stimulation try to neutralize activation of the BMP-signalling cascade by expressing intra- and extracellular BMP-antagonists. Chondrosarcoma derived cell lines are a potential substitute for primary articular chondrocytes promising consistent expression of a differentiated chondrocyte phenotype with sufficient proliferative capacity. However, as shown by this study one needs to carefully select the cell line depending on the effects which one intends to study. In this respect, HCS-2/8 cells are a validated tool for studying BMP-effects on chondrocytes, but not e.g. effects of interleukin-1.