Platelets and plasma proteins are both required to stimulate collagen gene expression by anterior cruciate ligament cells in three-dimensional culture.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Children's Hospital of Boston, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
Tissue Engineering Part A (Impact Factor: 4.64). 12/2009; 16(5):1479-89. DOI: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2009.0199
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Collagen-platelet (PL)-rich plasma composites have shown in vivo potential to stimulate anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) healing at early time points in large animal models. However, little is known about the cellular mechanisms by which the plasma component of these composites may stimulate healing. We hypothesized that the components of PL-rich plasma (PRP), namely the PLs and PL-poor plasma (PPP), would independently significantly influence ACL cell viability and metabolic activity, including collagen gene expression. To test this hypothesis, ACL cells were cultured in a collagen type I hydrogel with PLs, PPP, or the combination of the two (PRP) for 14 days. The inclusion of PLs, PPP, and PRP all significantly reduced the rate of cell apoptosis and enhanced the metabolic activity of fibroblasts in the collagen hydrogel. PLs promoted fibroblast-mediated collagen scaffold contraction, whereas PPP inhibited this contraction. PPP and PRP both promoted cell elongation and the formation of wavy fibrous structure in the scaffolds. The addition of only PLs or only plasma proteins did not significantly enhance gene expression of collagen types I and III but the combination, as PRP, did. Our findings suggest that the addition of both PLs and plasma proteins to collagen hydrogel may be useful in stimulating ACL healing by enhancing ACL cell viability, metabolic activity, and collagen synthesis.

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