The purpose of this study was to compare the proliferation, morphology, and antigenic expression of human fibroblast–like cells between primary cultures treated with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or fetal bovine serum (FBS) as the growth factor source.
Cells from human gingival tissue samples obtained from healthy volunteers during oral surgery were studied. Isolated cells were cultured in media supplemented with 10% PRP or FBS. Platelet-rich plasma was prepared from the venous blood of each patient. The authors studied short- and long-term cell cultures in the presence of PRP or FBS as the sole growth factor source in order to determine (a) cell growth rate, by MTT (3-[4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) assay; (b) cell morphology, by electronic microscopy; and (c) antigenic expression, by flow cytometry and confocal microscopy.
In short-term cultures, the cell growth rate was higher with PRP versus FBS treatment. No differences in morphology or expression of vimentin, fibronectin, or α-actin antigens were observed between PRP and FBS cultures. In long-term cultures, PRP and FBS did not significantly differ in cell growth rate but differed in morphology and in the expression of vimentin, fibronectin, and α-actin.
The PRP enhances cell proliferation over the short term and induces cell differentiation of fibroblast-like cells to myofibroblast-like cells over the long term, suggesting that fibroblast differentiation to myofibroblasts may underlie the action mechanism of PRP in soft tissue regeneration.