Comparison of corneal epitheliotrophic capacities among human platelet lysates and other blood derivatives

PLoS One. 2017 Feb 2;12(2):e0171008. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0171008. eCollection 2017.


Purpose: To evaluate the corneal epitheliotropic abilities of two commercialized human platelet lysates (HPLs) and to compare the results with other blood derivatives, including human peripheral serum (HPS) and bovine fetal serum (FBS).

Methods: In vitro, human corneal epithelial cells were incubated in various concentrations (0%, 3%, 5% and 10%) of blood derivatives. Two commercialized HPLs, including UltraGRO TM (Helios, Atlanta, GA) and PLTMax (Mill Creek, Rochester, MI), were tested and compared with HPS and FBS. Scratch-induced directional wounding assay was performed to evaluate cellular migration. MTS assay was used to evaluate cellular proliferation. Cellular differentiation was examined by scanning electron microscopy, inverted microscopy and transepithelial electrical resistance. Sprague-Dawley rats were used to evaluate the effects of the blood derivatives on corneal epithelial wound healing in vivo. Different blood derivatives were applied topically every 2 hours for 2 days after corneal epithelial debridement. The concentrations of epidermal growth factor (EGF), transforming growth factor -β1 (TGF-β1), fibronectin, platelet-derived growth factor-AB (PDGF-AB), PDGF-BB, and hyaluronic acid in different blood derivatives were evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

Results: In vitro experiments demonstrated statistically comparable epitheliotropic characteristics in cellular proliferation, migration, and differentiation for the two commercialized HPLs compared to FBS and HPS. Cells cultured without any serum were used as control group. The epitheliotropic capacities were statistically higher in the two commercialized HPLs compared to the control group (p<0.05). Among the different concentrations of blood derivatives, the preparations with 3% yielded better outcomes compared to 5% and 10%. In rats, HPLs also caused improved but not statistically significant wound healing compared to HPS. All the blood derivatives had better wound healing ratios than the control group (p<0.05). In the quantification of epitheliotropic factors, UltraGRO and PLTMax had significantly higher levels of EGF, TGF- β1, fibronectin than human peripheral serum (p<0.05).

Conclusions: Both commercialized HPLs showed comparable corneal epitheliotropic abilities and wound healing rates compared to HPS and FBS in the in vivo and in vitro studies. Our results suggest that HPLs may have the potential to replace HPS in the treatment of corneal epithelial problems.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Becaplermin
  • Blood Platelets / chemistry*
  • Cattle
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Extracts / chemistry
  • Cell Extracts / pharmacology
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Epithelium, Corneal / cytology*
  • Epithelium, Corneal / drug effects
  • Epithelium, Corneal / injuries
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / analysis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-sis / analysis
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1 / analysis
  • Wound Healing


  • Cell Extracts
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-sis
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1
  • platelet-derived growth factor AB
  • Becaplermin

Grant support

The authors received no specific funding for this work.