In this study, we aimed at investigating the interactions between primary chondrocytes and mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSC) accounting for improved chondrogenesis in coculture systems. Expanded MSC from human bone marrow (BM-MSC) or adipose tissue (AT-MSC) were cultured in pellets alone (monoculture) or with primary human chondrocytes from articular (AC) or nasal (NC) cartilage (coculture). In order to determine the reached cell number and phenotype, selected pellets were generated by combining: (i) human BM-MSC with bovine AC, (ii) BM-MSC from HLA-A2+ with AC from HLA-A2− donors, or (iii) human green fluorescent protein transduced BM-MSC with AC. Human BM-MSC and AC were also cultured separately in transwells. Resulting tissues and/or isolated cells were assessed immunohistologically, biochemically, cytofluorimetrically, and by RT-PCR. Coculture of NC or AC (25%) with BM-MSC or AT-MSC (75%) in pellets resulted in up to 1.6-fold higher glycosaminoglycan content than what would be expected based on the relative percentages of the different cell types. This effect was not observed in the transwell model. BM-MSC decreased in number (about fivefold) over time and, if cocultured with chondrocytes, increased type II collagen and decreased type X collagen expression. Instead, AC increased in number (4.2-fold) if cocultured with BM-MSC and maintained a differentiated phenotype. Chondro-induction in MSC–chondrocyte coculture is a robust process mediated by two concomitant effects: MSC-induced chondrocyte proliferation and chondrocyte-enhanced MSC chondrogenesis. The identified interactions between progenitor and mature cell populations may lead to the efficient use of freshly harvested chondrocytes for ex vivo cartilage engineering or in situ cartilage repair.