Human platelet lysate is a feasible candidate to replace fetal calf serum as medium supplement for blood vascular and lymphatic endothelial cells

Cytotherapy. 2014 Sep;16(9):1238-44. doi: 10.1016/j.jcyt.2014.04.009. Epub 2014 Jun 11.


Background aims: As angiogenic and lymphangiogenic key players, endothelial cells (ECs) are promising candidates for vascular regenerative therapies. To culture ECs in vitro, fetal calf serum (FCS) is most often used. However, some critical aspects of FCS usage, such as possible internalization of xenogeneic proteins and prions, must be considered. Therefore, the aim of this project was to determine if human platelet lysate (hPL) is a suitable alternative to FCS as medium supplement for the culture of blood vascular and lymphatic endothelial cells.

Methods: The usability of hPL was tested by analysis of endothelial surface marker expression, metabolic activity and vasculogenic potential of outgrowth ECs (OECs), human umbilical vein ECs (HUVECs), and lymphatic ECs (LECs).

Results: Expression of EC markers CD31, VEGFR2, VE-cadherin and CD146 did not differ significantly between the EC types cultured in FCS or hPL. In addition, OECs, HUVECs and LECs formed tube-like structures on Matrigel when cultured in hPL and FCS. With the use of 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazoliumbromid assays, we found that the metabolic activity of OECs and LECs was slightly decreased when hPL was used. However, HUVECs and LECs did not show a significant decrease in metabolic activity, and HUVECs showed a slightly higher activity at low seeding densities.

Conclusions: The use of hPL on different EC types did not reveal any substantial negative effects on EC behavior. Thus, hPL appears to be a favorable candidate to replace FCS as a medium supplement in the culture of ECs.

Keywords: angiogenesis; endothelial cells; fetal calf serum; human platelet lysate; regenerative medicine.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Blood Platelets / metabolism
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Extracts
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Collagen
  • Culture Media / metabolism
  • Drug Combinations
  • Endothelial Cells / physiology*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Laminin
  • Proteoglycans
  • Regenerative Medicine
  • Serum / metabolism
  • Umbilical Veins / cytology


  • Biomarkers
  • Cell Extracts
  • Culture Media
  • Drug Combinations
  • Laminin
  • Proteoglycans
  • matrigel
  • Collagen