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J Orthop Res. 2013 Jan;31(1):29-34. doi: 10.1002/jor.22183. Epub 2012 Jul 5.

Peripheral blood mononuclear cells enhance the anabolic effects of platelet-rich plasma on anterior cruciate ligament fibroblasts.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) has shown promise in various orthopaedic applications, including treatment of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. However, various components of blood, including peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), are removed in the process of making PRP. It is yet unknown whether these PBMCs have a positive or negative effect on fibroblast behavior. To begin to define the effect of PBMCs on ACL fibroblasts, ACL fibroblasts were cultured on three-dimensional collagen scaffolds for 14 days with and without PBMCs. ACL fibroblasts exposed to PBMCs showed increased type I and type III procollagen gene expression, collagen protein expression, and cell proliferation when the cells were cultured in the presence of platelets and plasma. However, addition of PBMCs to cells cultured without platelets had no effect. The increase in collagen gene and protein expression was accompanied by an increase in IL-6 expression by the PBMCs with exposure to the platelets. Our results suggest that the interaction between platelets and PBMCs leads to an IL-6 mediated increase in collagen expression by ACL fibroblasts.

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