Our bovine chondrocytes are isolated from normal articular cartilage from one-month-old calves. The cells are cryopreserved after isolation and can be cultured and propagated through several passages.
For chondrocytes to maintain their phenotype, i.e., produce and maintain the extracellular matrix of cartilage (type II collagen and aggrecan), they must be cultured at high density (such as 1M cells/ml) or in gels or scaffolds. Chondrocytes grown at low density will lose their phenotype and de-differentiate into fibroblast-like cells that produce type I collagen.
Chondrocyte cultures are useful in in vitro models for studying cartilage regeneration and repair, cytokine and growth factor effects on cartilage, and arthritis (when co-cultured with anti-collagen antibodies and/or cells of inflammation such as activated macrophages and lymphocytes).
As seen in the graph below, we thawed our chondrocytes and plated them into a 96 well plate at 100,000 cells per well. We then added recombinant human FGF18 at 100 ul per well. Cultures were incubated for 2 days prior to measuring proliferation by reduction of XTT.
For more information, see our chondrocyte culture protocol.