Objectives: This study aims to investigate the possible effects of leukocyte concentration in the content of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and the administration of PRP using a drug delivery system on chondrocyte proliferation in vitro conditions.
Patients and methods: Blood from nine male patients (mean age 65 years; range 49 to 81 years) with advanced stage osteoarthritis who had not responded to medical or conservative treatments and underwent total knee arthroplasty was used to prepare two formulations: PRP with low concentration leukocytes (2000-4000 leukocytes/µL) was designated as pure PRP (P-PRP), whereas PRP with high concentration leukocytes (9000-11000 leukocytes/µL) as leukocyte-rich PRP (L-PRP). Samples were divided into five groups as control group (group 1), chondrocyte cultures with P-PRP applied directly (group 2), chondrocyte cultures with L-PRP applied directly (group 3), chondrocytes co-cultured with P-PRP applied hydrogel (group 4), and chondrocytes co-cultured with L-PRP applied hydrogel (group 5). In all groups; cell morphology, viability and proliferation were compared with the expression of stage-specific embryonic antigen-1 (SSEA-1), a precondrocyte marker.
Results: Maximum cell proliferation and SSEA-1 expression occurred in group 4, with a statistically significant correlation between SSEA-1 expression and cell proliferation.
Conclusion: Our study showed the importance of leukocyte concentration of PRP and efficiency of delivery systems such as hydrogel and that L-PRP administered with a delivery system is more efficient than conventional applications of PRP in the treatment of cartilage damage.