Periostin Secreted by Mesenchymal Stem Cells Supports Tendon Formation in an Ectopic Mouse Model

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


True tendon regeneration in human patients remains a vision of musculoskeletal therapies. In comparison to other mesenchymal lineages the biology of tenogenic differentiation is barely understood. Specifically, easy and efficient protocols are lacking that might enable tendon cell and tissue differentiation based on adult (stem) cell sources. In the murine mesenchymal progenitor cell line C3H10T1/2 overexpression of the growth factor bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) and a constitutively active transcription factor, Smad8 L + MH2, mediates tendon cell differentiation in vitro and the formation of tendon-like tissue in vivo. We hypothesized that during this differentiation secreted factors involved in extracellular matrix formation exert a major impact on tendon development. Gene expression analyses revealed four genes encoding secreted factors that are notably upregulated: periostin, C-type lectin domain family 3 (member b), RNase A4, and follistatin-like 1. These factors have not previously been implicated in tendon biology. Among these, periostin showed a specific expression in tenocytes of adult mouse Achilles tendon and in chondrocytes within the nonmineralized fibrocartilage zone of the enthesis with the calcaneus. Overexpression of periostin alone or in combination with constitutively active BMP receptor type in human mesenchymal stem cells and subsequent implantation into ectopic sites in mice demonstrated a reproducible moderate tenogenic capacity that has not been described before. Therefore, periostin may belong to the factors contributing to the development of tenogenic tissue.


  • Sandra Noack
  • Virginia Seiffart
  • Elmar Willbold
  • Sandra Laggies
  • Andreas Winkel
  • Sandra Shahab-Osterloh
  • Thilo Floerkemeier
  • Falk Hertwig
  • Christine Steinhoff
  • Ulrike Nuber
  • Gerhard Gross
  • Andrea Hoffmann
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cell and Molecular Biology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1844-1857
JournalStem Cells and Development
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch