Involvement of PDGF-BB and IGF-1 in Activation of Human Schwann Cells by Platelet-Rich Plasma

Plast Reconstr Surg. 2019 Dec;144(6):1025e-1036e. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000006266.


Background: Platelet-rich plasma contains high concentrations of growth factors that stimulate proliferation and migration of various cell types. Earlier experiments demonstrated that local platelet-rich plasma administration activates Schwann cells to improve axonal regeneration at a transected peripheral nerve lesion. However, the optimal concentration of human platelet-rich plasma for activation of human Schwann cells has not been determined, and mechanisms by which platelet-rich plasma activates Schwann cells remain to be clarified.

Methods: Human Schwann cells were cultured with various concentrations of platelet-rich plasma in 5% fetal bovine serum/Dulbecco's Modified Eagle Medium. Cell viability, microchemotaxis, flow cytometry, and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction assays were performed to assess proliferation, migration, cell cycle, and neurotrophic factor expression of the human Schwann cells, respectively. Human Schwann cells were co-cultured with neuronal cells to assess their capacity to induce neurite extension. Neutralizing antibodies for platelet-derived growth factor-BB (PDGF-BB) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) were added to the culture to estimate contribution of these cytokines to human Schwann cell stimulation by platelet-rich plasma.

Results: An addition of platelet-rich plasma at 5% strongly elevated proliferation, migration, and neurotrophic factor production of human Schwann cells. Both PDGF-BB and IGF-1 may be involved in mitogenic effect of platelet-rich plasma on human Schwann cells, and PDGF-BB may also play an important role in the migration-inducing effect of platelet-rich plasma. Neutralization of both PDGF-BB and IGF-1 cancelled the promoting effect of platelet-rich plasma on neurite-inducing activity of human Schwann cells.

Conclusion: This study may suggest the optimal concentration of platelet-rich plasma for human Schwann cell stimulation and potential mechanisms underlying the activation of human Schwann cells by platelet-rich plasma, which may be quite useful for platelet-rich plasma therapy for peripheral nerve regeneration.

Clinical question/level of evidence: Therapeutic, V.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Neutralizing / pharmacology
  • Becaplermin / physiology*
  • Cell Movement / physiology
  • Cell Proliferation / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / physiology*
  • Nerve Growth Factors / biosynthesis
  • Nerve Growth Factors / metabolism
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma*
  • Schwann Cells / metabolism
  • Schwann Cells / physiology*


  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • IGF1 protein, human
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Becaplermin
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I