Human platelet-rich plasma promotes axon growth in brain-spinal cord coculture

Neuroreport. 2012 Aug 22;23(12):712-6. doi: 10.1097/WNR.0b013e3283567196.


Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) contains several growth factors, including platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), that are associated with repair processes after central nervous system injury. Although PRP have been applied to some regenerative therapies, the regeneration effects of PRP on spinal cord injury have not been reported. This study applied a rat organ coculture system to examine the ability of PRP to enhance axonal growth in spinal cord tissues and to identify the growth factors in PRP that contribute to the regulation of axon growth. PRP from human peripheral blood was added to organ cocultures. Furthermore, neutralizing antibodies against PDGF-AB, TGF-β1, IGF-1, or VEGF were added to the cocultures with PRP. Axon growth from the brain cortex into the spinal cord was assessed quantitatively using anterograde axon tracing with DiI. Addition of PRP to the cocultures promoted axon growth, and the axon growth was significantly suppressed by the addition of neutralizing antibodies against IGF-1 and VEGF, but not PDGF-AB. In contrast, axon growth was promoted significantly by the addition of neutralizing antibodies against TGF-β1. These findings indicate that PRP promotes axon growth in spinal cord tissues through mechanisms associated with IGF-1 and VEGF, and that TGF-β1 in PRP exerts negative effects on axon growth.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / drug effects*
  • Axons / metabolism*
  • Axons / pathology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / pharmacology
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / pharmacology
  • Organ Culture Techniques
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / pharmacology
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma / chemistry*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Spinal Cord / cytology*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1 / pharmacology
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / pharmacology


  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I