The idea of rescuing the body self‐repair capability lost during evolution is progressively gaining ground in regenerative medicine. In particular, growth factors and bioactive molecules derived from activated platelets emerged as promising therapeutic agents acting as trigger for repair of tissue lesions and restoration of tissue functions. Aim of this study was to assess the potential of a platelet lysate (PL) for human articular cartilage repair considering its activity on progenitor cells and differentiated chondrocytes. PL induced the re‐entry in the cell cycle of confluent, growth‐arrested dedifferentiated/progenitor cartilage cells. In a cartilage permissive culture environment, differentiated cells also resumed proliferation after exposure to PL. These findings correlated with an up‐regulation of the proliferation/survival pathways ERKs and Akt and with an induction of cyclin D1. In short‐ and long‐term cultures of articular cartilage explants, we observed a release of proliferating chondroprogenitors able to differentiate and form an “in vitro” tissue with properties of healthy articular cartilage. Moreover, in cultured cartilage cells, PL induced a hypoxia‐inducible factor (HIF‐1) alpha increase, its nuclear relocation and the binding to HIF‐1 responsive elements. These events were possibly related to the cell proliferation because the HIF‐1 inhibitor acriflavine inhibited HIF‐1 binding to HIF‐1 responsive elements and cell proliferation. Our study demonstrates that PL induces quiescent cartilage cell activation and proliferation leading to new cartilage formation, identifies PL activated pathways playing a role in these processes, and provides a rationale to the application of PL for therapeutic treatment of damaged articular cartilage.
Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ; ; ;
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