Platelet-released growth factors enhance the secretion of hyaluronic acid and induce hepatocyte growth factor production by synovial fibroblasts from arthritic patients

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2007 Dec;46(12):1769-72. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kem234. Epub 2007 Oct 17.


Objectives: Autologous platelet-secreted growth factors (GFs) may have therapeutic effects in osteoarthritis (OA) capsular joints via multiple mechanisms. Our aim was to examine the effect of a platelet-derived preparation rich in growth factors (PRGFs) in OA synovial cell biology.

Methods: Synovial cells were isolated from 10 osteoarthritic patients and cultured in serum-free media (basal conditions) and exposed to either a platelet-poor preparation or PRGF for 72 h. Cells activated with interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) for 48 h were also exposed to PRGF. Changes in several events relevant to joint homeostasis including (i) hyaluronic acid (HA) secretion, (ii) the balance between metalloproteinase-1, -3 and -13 (MMP-1, MMP-3 and MMP-13) and tissue inhibitor-1 (TIMP-1) and (iii) the secretion of transforming growth factor-beta1(TGF-beta1), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), were all assessed.

Results: PRGF significantly enhanced HA secretion compared with platelet-poor preparations, P < 0.05; at the same time release of TIMP-1, MMP-1, MMP-3 and MMP-13 were not affected. An increased HGF production was observed (P < 0.05) but VEGF and TGF-beta1 levels remained unchanged. PRGF significantly enhanced the secretion of HA induced by IL-1beta activation, P < 0.05, but it did not modify the IL-1beta-induced rise in MMP-1, MMP-3 and VEGF. In contrast, PRGF-induced HGF production was abolished by the presence of IL-1beta during PRGF treatment, P < 0.05.

Conclusions: Intra-articular administration of PRGF might be beneficial in restoring HA concentration and switching angiogenesis to a more balanced status but does not halt the effects of IL-1beta on synovial cells.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects*
  • Fibroblasts / physiology
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronic Acid / metabolism*
  • Interleukin-1beta / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis / drug therapy
  • Osteoarthritis / pathology
  • Probability
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Synovial Membrane / cytology
  • Thymidine Phosphorylase / pharmacology*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1 / pharmacology
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / pharmacology*


  • Interleukin-1beta
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Hepatocyte Growth Factor
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Thymidine Phosphorylase