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Beneficial Effects of Low Frequency Vibration on Human Chondrocytes in Vitro

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  • Ronald Lützenberg, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg
  • ,
  • Markus Wehland
  • Kendrick Solano, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg
  • ,
  • Mohamed Z Nassef, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg
  • ,
  • Christoph Buken, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg
  • ,
  • Daniela Melnik, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg
  • ,
  • Johann Bauer, Max-Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsried, Germany.
  • ,
  • Sascha Kopp, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg
  • ,
  • Marcus Krüger, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg
  • ,
  • Stefan Riwaldt, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg
  • ,
  • Ruth Hemmersbach, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Gravitational Biology, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Linder Höhe, 51147 Cologne, Germany. ruth.hemmersbach@dlr.de.
  • ,
  • Herbert Schulz, University of Cologne
  • ,
  • Manfred Infanger, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg
  • ,
  • Daniela Grimm

BACKGROUND/AIMS: In articular cartilage, chondrocytes are the predominant cell type. A long-term stay in space can lead to bone loss and cartilage breakdown. Due to the poor regenerative capacity of cartilage, this may impair the crewmembers' mobility and influence mission activities. Beside microgravity other factors such as cosmic radiation and vibration might be important for cartilage degeneration. Vibration at different frequencies showed various effects on cartilage in vivo, but knowledge about its impact on chondrocytes in vitro is sparse.

METHODS: Human chondrocytes were exposed to a vibration device, simulating the vibration profile occurring during parabolic flights, for 24 h (VIB) and compared to static controls. Phase-contrast microscopy, immunofluorescence, F-actin and TUNEL staining as well as quantitative real-time PCR were performed to examine effects on morphology, cell viability and shape as well as gene expression. The results were compared to earlier studies using semantic analyses.

RESULTS: No morphological changes or cytoskeletal alterations were observed in VIB and no apoptotic cells were found. A reorganization and increase in fibronectin were detected in VIB samples by immunofluorescence technique. PXN, VCL, ANXA1, ANXA2, BAX, and BCL2 revealed differential regulations.

CONCLUSION: Long-term VIB did not damage human chondrocytes in vitro. The reduction of ANXA2, and up-regulation of ANXA1, PXN and VCL mRNAs suggest that long-term vibration might even positively influence cultured chondrocytes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCellular Physiology and Biochemistry
Pages (from-to)623-637
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

© Copyright by the Author(s). Published by Cell Physiol Biochem Press.

    Research areas

  • Annexin A2, Apoptosis, Chondrocytes, Extracellular matrix, Focal adhesion, Vibration

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