Cytocompatibility study of a natural biomaterial crosslinker--Genipin with therapeutic model cells.
ABSTRACT Genipin has been widely used as a natural crosslinker to substitute chemical crosslinkers such as glutaraldehyde to crosslink various biomaterials like gelatin, collagen, and chitosan. However, there are contradicting views on the cytotoxicity and safety of genipin in tissue engineering. Therefore in this study, we aimed to evaluate the toxicity of genipin on skeletal tissues cells-osteoblasts and chondrocytes as they are also representatives of typical anchorage-dependent cells (ADCs) and nontypical ADCs. Results suggest that genipin toxicity is dose dependent and acute but not time dependent on both osteoblasts and chondrocytes. In particular, chondrocytes exhibit substantial alterations in the gene expression when exposed to Maximum nontoxic concentration (MaxNC) of genipin but there were no significant changes in the genes tested in osteoblasts. Since osteoblasts are typical ADCs, cellular focal adhesion assessment was carried out with F-actin being more contracted and unorganized when exposed to minimum toxic concentration (MinTC) of genipin. The mechanisms involved in cell deaths in both cell types are believed to be similar and hence using osteoblast as the model, cells were stained positive for Annexin-V and Reactive oxygen species (ROS) level were elevated at MinTC of genipin. Collectively, genipin induced cell apoptosis via ROS production, and apparently, gene expressions could also be altered at MaxNC. For this reason, we recommend the dose of genipin to be controlled within 0.5 mM.