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Publication Detail
Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1α in Osteochondral Tissue Engineering
Damage to osteochondral (OC) tissues can lead to pain, loss of motility, and progress to osteoarthritis. Tissue engineering approaches offer the possibility of replacing damaged tissues and restoring joint function; however, replicating the spatial and functional heterogeneity of native OC tissue remains a pressing challenge. Chondrocytes in healthy cartilage exist in relatively low oxygen conditions, whilst osteoblasts in the underlying bone experience higher oxygen pressures. Such oxygen gradients also exist in the limb bud, where they similarly influence OC tissue development. The cellular response to these spatial variations in oxygen pressure, which is mediated by the hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) pathway, plays a central role in regulating osteo- and chondrogenesis by directing progenitor cell differentiation and promoting and maintaining appropriate extracellular matrix production. Understanding the role of the HIF pathway in OC tissue development may enable new approaches to engineer OC tissue. Here we discuss strategies to spatially and temporarily regulate the HIF pathway in progenitor cells to create functional OC tissue for regenerative therapies.
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