Use of cartilage derived from murine induced pluripotent stem cells for osteoarthritis drug screening

Vincent P. Willard, Brian O. Diekman, Johannah Sanchez-Adams, Nicolas Christoforou, Kam W. Leong, Farshid Guilak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Objective The discovery of novel disease-modifying drugs for osteoarthritis (OA) is limited by the lack of adequate genetically defined cartilage tissues for application in high-throughput screening systems. We addressed this need by synthesizing cartilage from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to establish and validate an in vitro model of OA. Methods Native or iPSC-derived mouse cartilage samples were treated with the cytokine interleukin-1α (IL-1α) for 3 days to model the inflammatory environment of OA. The biochemical content, mechanical properties, and gene expression of the resulting tissues were assayed. In addition, the inflammatory and catabolic environment of the media was assessed. To establish high-throughput capability, we used a 96-well plate format and conducted a screen of previously identified candidate OA drugs. Glycosaminoglycan (GAG) release into the medium was used as the primary output for screening. Results Treatment of iPSC-derived or native cartilage with IL-1α induced characteristic features of OA in a rapid and dose-dependent manner. In addition to the loss of GAGs and tissue mechanical properties, IL-1α treatment induced the expression of matrix metalloproteinases and increased the production of the inflammatory mediators nitric oxide and prostaglandin E2. In the high-throughput screen validation, all candidate OA therapeutic agents provided some benefit, but only the NF-κB inhibitor SC514 effectively reduced cartilage loss in response to IL-1α. Conclusion This work demonstrates the utility of iPSCs for studying cartilage pathology and provides a platform for identifying novel, patient-specific therapeutic agents that prevent cartilage degradation and modify the course of OA development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3062-3072
Number of pages11
JournalArthritis and Rheumatology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014


Dive into the research topics of 'Use of cartilage derived from murine induced pluripotent stem cells for osteoarthritis drug screening'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this