Recombinant human platelet-derived growth factor: biology and clinical applications

J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2008 Feb;90 Suppl 1:48-54. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.G.01231.


The abilities of bone to remodel, fractures to repair, and bone grafts to incorporate are all fundamental reflections of the bone remodeling cycle. This process is characterized by the recruitment and differentiation of osteoblastic and osteoclastic cell populations, whose cellular activities are coordinated and regulated by an elaborate system of growth factors and cytokines. One of the crucial biological factors responsible for reparative osseous activity is platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). The potent stimulatory effects of PDGF as a chemoattractant and mitogen for mesenchymal cells (including osteogenic cells), along with its ability to promote angiogenesis, have been demonstrated in a variety of preclinical models predicting maxillofacial, spine and appendicular skeletal, and soft-tissue applications. The biological profile of PDGF, including its ability to recruit osteoprogenitor cells, makes it particularly suited to address the skeletal defects that are seen with comorbid conditions such as osteoporosis, diabetes, and the effects of smoking. The clinical success and safety that have been demonstrated with use of recombinant human PDGF (rhPDGF) in the repair of periodontal defects have led to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of rhPDGF for this indication. Ongoing pilot and pivotal trials in the United States and internationally will continue to clarify the promising role of PDGF in the treatment of challenging skeletal disorders.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Becaplermin
  • Bone Remodeling / drug effects
  • Bone Remodeling / physiology*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Female
  • Fracture Healing / physiology*
  • Guided Tissue Regeneration, Periodontal
  • Humans
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / metabolism*
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / pharmacology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-sis
  • Rats
  • Recombinant Proteins


  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-sis
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Becaplermin