Platelet-rich plasma promotes bone formation, restrains adipogenesis and accelerates vascularization to relieve steroids-induced osteonecrosis of the femoral head

Platelets. 2021 Oct 3;32(7):950-959. doi: 10.1080/09537104.2020.1810221. Epub 2020 Aug 24.


Steroid-associated necrosis of the femoral head (SANFH) is one of the most common and refractory chronic diseases with increasing incidence. The typical pathological changes of SANFH include decreased osteogenic differentiation, enhanced intramedullary adipocytes deposition and impaired osseous circulation. In this study, we investigated the effects and potential mechanisms of Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) on SANFH. Sixty Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into the control, PRP donor, model, and PRP groups. Compared to the model group, PRP treatment significantly increased the hemorheological indexes and serum levels of bone gla-protein (BGP) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), while decreased the levels of triglyceride (TG) and total cholesterol (TC). Meanwhile, Micro-CT and histopathological stain (Hematoxylin-eosin and Alcian blue-hematoxylin/orange G staining) were performed on the femoral head for morphological and histopathological evaluation, indicating that bone trabecular microstructure and bone mineral density (BMD) were significantly improved after PRP treatment. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that PRP remarkably up-regulated the expression of osteogenic markers including β-catenin and alkaline phosphatase (ALP), angiogenic markers containing VEGF and platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (CD31), while down-regulated adipogenic markers involving fatty acid-binding protein (FABP-4), and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR-γ) in SANFH rat models. In summary, for the first time, PRP was demonstrated to prevent the development of SANFH through stimulating bone formation and vascularization as well as retarding adipogenesis.

Keywords: Platelet-rich plasma; angiogenesis; lipogenesis; osteogenesis; steroid-associated necrosis of the femoral head.

MeSH terms

  • Adipogenesis / immunology*
  • Animals
  • Femur Head / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Osteogenesis / immunology*
  • Osteonecrosis / chemically induced*
  • Platelet-Rich Plasma / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley