Background: Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has recently been postulated as a treatment for osteoarthritis (OA). Although anabolic effects of PRP on chondrocytes are well documented, no reports are known addressing effects on cartilage degeneration. Since OA is characterized by a catabolic and inflammatory joint environment, the authors investigated whether PRP was able to counteract the effects of such an environment on human osteoarthritic chondrocytes.
Hypothesis: Platelet-rich plasma inhibits inflammatory effects of interleukin-1 (IL-1) beta on human osteoarthritic chondrocytes.
Study design: Controlled laboratory study.
Methods: Human osteoarthritic chondrocytes were cultured in the presence of IL-1 beta to mimic an osteoarthritic environment. Medium was supplemented with 0%, 1%, or 10% PRP releasate (PRPr, the active releasate of PRP). After 48 hours, gene expression of collagen type II alpha 1 (COL2A1), aggrecan (ACAN), a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs (ADAMTS)4, ADAMTS5, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)13, and prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase (PTGS)2 was analyzed. Additionally, glycosaminoglycan (GAG) content, nitric oxide (NO) production, and nuclear factor kappa B (NFκB) activation were studied.
Results: Platelet-rich plasma releasate diminished IL-1 beta-induced inhibition of COL2A1 and ACAN gene expression. The PRPr also reduced IL-1 beta-induced increase of ADAMTS4 and PTGS2 gene expression. ADAMTS5 gene expression and GAG content were not influenced by IL-1 beta or additional PRPr. Matrix metalloproteinase 13 gene expression and NO production were upregulated by IL-1 beta but not affected by added PRPr. Finally, PRPr reduced IL-1 beta-induced NFκB activation to control levels containing no IL-1 beta.
Conclusion: Platelet-rich plasma releasate diminished multiple inflammatory IL-1 beta-mediated effects on human osteoarthritic chondrocytes, including inhibition of NFκB activation.
Clinical relevance: Platelet-rich plasma releasate counteracts effects of an inflammatory environment on genes regulating matrix degradation and formation in human chondrocytes. Platelet-rich plasma releasate decreases NFκB activation, a major pathway involved in the pathogenesis of OA. These results encourage further study of PRP as a treatment for OA.