Influence of platelet-rich plasma on chondrogenic differentiation and proliferation of chondrocytes and mesenchymal stem cells

Cells Tissues Organs. 2009;189(5):317-26. doi: 10.1159/000151290. Epub 2008 Aug 11.


Background/aims: Autologous chondrocyte (CC) transplantation has the disadvantages of requiring two surgical interventions and in vitro expansion of cells, implying the risk of cellular dedifferentiation. Our clinical aim is to develop a one-step procedure for autologous CC transplantation, i.e. harvesting, isolation and reimplantation of CC performed in one single surgical procedure. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a source of autologous growth factors reported to have mitogenic effects. The objective of this study was to test the influence of PRP as an autologous scaffold on freshly isolated CC and mesenchymal stem cells (MSC).

Methods: CC and MSC were subjected to two- or three-dimensional (3D) growth systems, either with or without PRP. Chondrogenic differentiation was determined via quantification of collagen type II mRNA and immunohistochemical staining.

Results: We observed a proliferative effect for MSCs exposed to PRP in monolayer culture and an increase in the expression of chondrogenic markers when cells are exposed to a 3D environment. CCs exposed to PRP show a decrease in the chondrogenic phenotype with increasing proliferative activity.

Conclusion: PRP has a proliferative effect on CCs and MSCs. In a one-step procedure for autologous CC transplantation, this might be an advantage over other scaffold materials, but confirmation in in vivo studies is required.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chondrocytes / cytology*
  • Female
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma / physiology*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sheep