Comparison of the Cellular Composition and Cytokine-Release Kinetics of Various Platelet-Rich Plasma Preparations

Am J Sports Med. 2015 Dec;43(12):3062-70. doi: 10.1177/0363546515608481. Epub 2015 Oct 15.


Background: Variations in formulations used to prepare platelet-rich plasmas (PRPs) result in differences in the cellular composition and biomolecular characteristics.

Purpose: To evaluate the cellular composition and the cytokine-release kinetics of PRP according to differences in the preparation protocols.

Study design: Controlled laboratory study.

Methods: Five preparation procedures were performed for 14 healthy subjects, including 2 manual procedures (single-spin [SS] at 900 g for 5 minutes; double-spin [DS] at 900 g for 5 minutes and then 1500 g for 15 minutes) and 3 methods with commercial kits (Arthrex ACP, Biomet GPS, and Prodizen Prosys). After evaluation of cellular composition, each preparation was divided into 4 aliquots and incubated for 1 hour, 24 hours, 72 hours, and 7 days for the assessment of cytokine release over time. The cytokine-release kinetics were evaluated by assessing platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), transforming growth factor (TGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF), interleukin-1 (IL-1), and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) concentrations of each aliquot with bead-based sandwich immunoassay.

Results: The DS PRP had a higher concentration of platelets and leukocytes than did the SS PRP. Every PRP preparation exhibited an increase in PDGF, TGF, VEGF, and FGF release when compared with whole blood samples. The FGF and TGF release occurred quickly and decreased over time, while the PDGF and VEGF release was constant and sustained over 7 days. The PDGF and VEGF concentrations were higher in the DS PRP than in the SS PRP, whereas the TGF and FGF concentrations were higher in the SS PRP than in the DS PRP. Biomet GPS had the highest VEGF and MMP-9 concentrations but the lowest TGF concentration. Arthrex ACP had the highest FGF concentration but the lowest PDGF concentration. Prodizen Prosys had the highest IL-1 concentration and higher PDGF concentration than Arthrex ACP.

Conclusion: The DS method generally led to a higher concentration of platelet relative to the SS method. However, the cytokine content was not necessarily proportional to the cellular composition of the PRPs, as the greater content could be different between the SS or DS method depending on the type of cytokine.

Clinical relevance: Physicians should select proper PRP preparations after considering their biomolecular characteristics and patient indications.

Keywords: cell composition; cytokine-release kinetics; platelet-rich plasma; preparations.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cytokines / blood*
  • Female
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / blood
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-1 / blood
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / blood
  • Middle Aged
  • Platelet Count
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / analysis
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma / chemistry*
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma / cytology*
  • Transforming Growth Factors / blood
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / analysis
  • Young Adult


  • Cytokines
  • Interleukin-1
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors
  • Transforming Growth Factors
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9