Induction and expansion of human PRRX1+ limb-bud-like mesenchymal cells from pluripotent stem cells

Daisuke Yamada, Masahiro Nakamura, Tomoka Takao, Shota Takihira, Aki Yoshida, Shunsuke Kawai, Akihiro Miura, Lu Ming, Hiroyuki Yoshitomi, Mai Gozu, Kumi Okamoto, Hironori Hojo, Naoyuki Kusaka, Ryosuke Iwai, Eiji Nakata, Toshifumi Ozaki, Junya Toguchida, Takeshi Takarada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Current protocols for the differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) into chondrocytes do not allow for the expansion of intermediate progenitors so as to prospectively assess their chondrogenic potential. Here we report a protocol that leverages PRRX1–tdTomato reporter hPSCs for the selective induction of expandable and ontogenetically defined PRRX1+ limb-bud-like mesenchymal cells under defined xeno-free conditions, and the prospective assessment of the cells’ chondrogenic potential via the cell-surface markers CD90, CD140B and CD82. The cells, which proliferated stably and exhibited the potential to undergo chondrogenic differentiation, formed hyaline cartilaginous-like tissue commensurate to their PRRX1-expression levels. Moreover, we show that limb-bud-like mesenchymal cells derived from patient-derived induced hPSCs can be used to identify therapeutic candidates for type II collagenopathy and we developed a method to generate uniformly sized hyaline cartilaginous-like particles by plating the cells on culture dishes coated with spots of a zwitterionic polymer. PRRX1+ limb-bud-like mesenchymal cells could facilitate the mass production of chondrocytes and cartilaginous tissues for applications in drug screening and tissue engineering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)926-940
Number of pages15
JournalNature Biomedical Engineering
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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