Aqueous extract of Arctium lappa L. root (burdock) enhances chondrogenesis in human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells

Background: Arctium lappa L. root (burdock root) has long been recommended for the treatment of different diseases in traditional Chinese medicine. Burdock root possesses anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and anti-microbial activities. The aim of the study was to elucidate whether aqueous extract of burdock root regulates mesenchymal stem cell proliferation and differentiation.

Methods: Human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells in 2D high density culture and in 3D micromass pellets were treated with chondrogenic induction medium and chondral basal medium in the absence or presence of aqueous extract of burdock root. The chondrogenic differentiation was accessed by staining glucosaminoglycans, immunostaining SOX9 and type II collagen and immuonblotting of SOX9, aggrecan and type II collagen.

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