Patricia Sanz-Ramos

Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Navarre, Spain

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Publications (6)15.99 Total impact

  • Patricia Sanz-Ramos, Javier Dotor, Iñigo Izal-Azcárate
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    ABSTRACT: We aim to demonstrate the role of Alk receptors in the response of hydrogel expansion. Chondrocytes from rat knees were cultured onto plastic and hydrogel surfaces. Alk-1 and Alk-5 were overexpressed or silenced and the effects on cells during expansion were tested and confirmed using peptide inhibitors for TGFβ. Overexpression of Alk-5 and silencing of Alk-1 led to a loss of the chondrocyte phenotype, proving that they are key regulators of chondrocyte mechanosensing. An analysis of the gene expression profile during the expansion of these modified cartilage cells in plastic showed a better maintenance of the chondrocyte phenotype, at least during the first passages. These passages were also assayed in a mouse model of intramuscular chondrogenesis. Our findings indicate that these two receptors are important mediators in the response of chondrocytes to changes in the mechanical environment, making them suitable targets for modulating chondrogenesis. Inhibition of TGFβ could also be effective in improving chondrocyte activity in aged or expanded cells that overexpress Alk-1.
    Cellular & Molecular Biology Letters 11/2014; · 1.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The use of autologous chondrocytes in cartilage repair is limited because of loss of the cartilage phenotype
    The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 07/2014; 96:1109-17. · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aim: The influence of culture substrate stiffness (in the kPa range) on chondrocyte behaviour has been described. Here we describe the response to variations in substrate stiffness in a soft range (2-20 Pa), as it may play a role in understanding cartilage physiopathology. Methods: We developed a system for cell culture in substrates with different elastic moduli using collagen hydrogels and evaluated chondrocytes after 2, 4 and 7 days in monolayer and 3D cultures. Experiments were performed in normoxia and hypoxia in order to describe the effect of a low oxygen environment on chondrocytes. Finally we also evaluated if dedifferentiated cells preserve the capacity for mechanosensing. Results: Chondrocytes showed less proliferating activity when cultured in monolayer in the more compliant substrates. Expression of the cartilage markers Aggrecan (Acan), type II Collagen (Col2a1) and Sox9 was upregulated in the less stiff gels (both in monolayer and in 3D culture). Stiffer gels induced an organization of the actin cytoskeleton that correlated with the loss of a chondrocyte phenotype. When cells were cultured in hypoxia, we observed changes in the cellular response that were mediated by HIF-1α. Results in 3D hypoxia cultures were opposite to those found in normoxia, but remained unchanged in monolayer hypoxic experiments. Similar results were found for dedifferentiated cells. Conclusions: Chondrocytes respond differently according to the stiffness of the substrate. This response depends greatly on the oxygen environment and on whether the chondrocyte is embedded or grown onto the hydrogel, since mechanosensing capacity was not lost with cell expansion.
    Connective tissue research 01/2013; · 1.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Polymer-ceramic composites obtained as the result of a mineralization process hold great promise for the future of tissue engineering. Simulated body fluids (SBFs) are widely used for the mineralization of polymer scaffolds. In this work an exhaustive study with the aim of optimizing the mineralization process on a poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) macroporous scaffold has been performed. We observed that when an air plasma treatment is applied to the PLLA scaffold its hydroxyapatite nucleation ability is considerably improved. However, plasma treatment only allows apatite deposition on the surface of the scaffold but not in its interior. When a 5 wt % of synthetic hydroxyapatite (HAp) nanoparticles is mixed with PLLA a more abundant biomimetic hydroxyapatite layer grows inside the scaffold in SBF. The morphology, amount, and composition of the generated biomimetic hydroxyapatite layer on the pores' surface have been analyzed. Large mineralization times are harmful to pure PLLA as it rapidly degrades and its elastic compression modulus significantly decreases. Degradation is retarded in the composite scaffolds because of the faster and extensive biomimetic apatite deposition and the role of HAp to control the pH. Mineralized scaffolds, covered by an apatite layer in SBF, were implanted in osteochondral lesions performed in the medial femoral condyle of healthy sheep. We observed that the presence of biomimetic hydroxyapatite on the pore's surface of the composite scaffold produces a better integration in the subchondral bone, in comparison to bare PLLA scaffolds. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater, 2012.
    Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part B Applied Biomaterials 11/2012; · 2.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: Due to the attractive properties of poly(L: -lactic acid) (PLLA) for tissue engineering, the aim was to determine the growth and differentiation capacity of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) in PLLA scaffolds and their potential use in the treatment of cartilage diseases. METHODS: MSCs were cultured in PLLA films and thin porous membranes to study adherence and proliferation. Permeability and porosity were determined for the different scaffolds employed. The optimal conditions for cell seeding were first determined, as well as cell density and distribution inside the PLLA. Scaffolds were then maintained in expansion or chondrogenic differentiation media for 21 days. Apoptosis, proliferation and chondrogenic differentiation was assessed after 21 days in culture by immunohistochemistry. Mechanical characteristics of scaffolds were determined before and after cell seeding. RESULTS: MSCs uniformly adhered to PLLA films as well as to porous membranes. Proliferation was detected only in monolayers of pure PLLA, but was no longer detected after 10 days. Mechanical characterization of PLLA scaffolds showed differences in the apparent compression elastic modulus for the two sizes used. After determining high efficiencies of seeding, the production of extracellular matrix (ECM) was determined and contained aggrecan and collagens type I and X. ECM produced by the cells induced a twofold increase in the apparent elastic modulus of the composite. CONCLUSIONS: Biocompatible PLLA scaffolds have been developed that can be efficiently loaded with MSCs. The scaffold supports chondrogenic differentiation and ECM deposition that improves the mechanics of the scaffold. Although this improvement does not met the expectations of a hyaline-like cartilage ECM, in part due to the lack of a mechanical stimulation, their potential use in the treatment of cartilage pathologies encourages to improve the mechanical component.
    Knee Surgery Sports Traumatology Arthroscopy 08/2012; · 2.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this work was to determine the pathways implicated in the mechanosensing of chondrocytes. Rat chondrocytes were cultured in collagen hydrogels of different stiffness (2-20 Pa) in normoxia and hypoxia, in monolayer and embedded inside hydrogels. First, chondrocyte were cultured on hydrogels in the presence of antibodies to block integrins. Second, custom RT-PCR array plates and western blot were used to detect changes in expression of genes implicated in downstream signalling pathways. The results allowed us to demonstrate the mechanosensing of chondrocytes for changes in stiffness in the range of Pascals. We also identified Non-Muscle Myosin II (NMMII) and integrins α1, β1 and β3 as participants in the mechanosensing, since their blockade inhibits the sensing of the stiffness, and they are up-regulated in the process. RT-PCR arrays and western blot detected up-regulation of Paxillin, RhoA, Fos, Jun and Sox9. We detected no expression of Src in the monolayer cultures, but we found a role for this protein in 3D. The expression of HIF-1α was not modified under normoxia but was found to participate under hypoxia. Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK), showed a direct relationship with the expression of Aggrecan in hypoxia and an inverse one in normoxia. Finally, immunofluorescence analysis located the expression of factors AP-1, Sox-9 and HIF-1α inside the cell nuclei and RhoA, Src, Paxillin and FAK close to the cytoplasmic membrane. We determined here some of the genes that are up-regulated during the process of chondrocyte mechanosensing.
    Osteoarthritis and Cartilage 05/2012; 20(8):931-9. · 4.26 Impact Factor