Rheumatoid arthritis is a degenerative disorder of the synovial membrane that leads to joint progressive destruction. This phenomenon is mostly supported and promoted by fibroblast-like synoviocytes. Although models for the interplay between bone-derived cells and synoviocytes already exist, there is still a deficiency of microfluidic 3D models that replicate the pathological interactions in the synovial-chondral axis. Here, human synovial organoids and human chondral organoids were co-cultured in a chip to develop a 3D tissue model to explore the pathological mechanisms underlying rheumatoid arthritis. The results showed that this co-culture system reproduced more faithfully the cartilage physiology and structure and that has a more adjusted cytokine response profile to their in vivo counterpart than normal monocultures of chondrocytes. Overall, the researchers establish a new microfluidic 3D co-culture model with physiological relevance that elucidates the importance of co-culturing different cell types to model arthritic diseases.
Establishment of a human three-dimensional chip-based chondro-synovial co-culture joint model for reciprocal cross-talk studies in arthritis research
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