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The roles of integrin β1 in phenotypic maintenance and dedifferentiation in chondroid cells differentiated from human adipose-derived stem cells

Simin Luo12, Qiping Shi1, Zhengang Zha12*, Ping Yao3, Hongsheng Lin12, Ning Liu12, Hao Wu12, Jiye Cai4 and Shangyun Sun1

Author Affiliations

1 The First Affiliated Hospital, Jinan University, Guangzhou, 510632, China

2 Institute of Orthopaedic Disease Research, Jinan University, Guangzhou, 510632, China

3 School of Medicine, Jinan University, Guangzhou, 510632, China

4 Department of Chemistry and Institute for Nano-Chemistry, Jinan University, Guangzhou, 510632, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2013, 8:136  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-8-136

Published: 24 March 2013



The aim of this study is to probe the intrinsic mechanism of chondroid cell dedifferentiation in order to provide a feasible solution for this in cell culture.


Morphological and biomechanical properties of cells undergoing chondrogenic differentiation from human adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) were measured at the nanometer scale using atomic force microscopy and laser confocal scanning microscopy. Gene expression was determined by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction.


The expression of COL II, SOX9, and Aggrecan mRNA began to increase gradually at the beginning of differentiation and reach a peak similar to that of normal chondrocytes on the 12th day, then dropped to the level of the 6th day at 18th day. Cell topography and mechanics trended resembled those of the genes’ expression. Integrin β1 was expressed in ADSCs and rapidly upregulated during differentiation but downregulated after reaching maturity.


The amount and distribution of integrin β1 may play a critical role in mediating both chondroid cell maturity and dedifferentiation. Integrin β1 is a possible new marker and target for phenotypic maintenance in chondroid cells.

Integrin β1; Adipose-derived stem cells; Dedifferentiation; Atomic force microscope