The production method affects the efficacy of platelet derivatives to expand mesenchymal stromal cells in vitro

Martina Bernardi, Francesco Agostini, Katia Chieregato, Eliana Amati, Cristina Durante, Mario Rassu, Marco Ruggeri, Sabrina Sella, Elisabetta Lombardi, Mario Mazzucato, Giuseppe Astori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The use of fetal bovine serum (FBS) as a media supplement for the ex vivo expansion of bone-marrow derived mesenchymal stromal cells (BM-MSC) has been discouraged by regulatory agencies, due to the risk of transmitting zoonoses and to elicit immune reactions in the host once transplanted. Platelet derivatives are valid FBS substitutes due to their content of growth factors that can be released disrupting the platelets by physical methods or physiological stimuli. We compared platelet derivatives produced by freezing/thawing (platelet lysates, PL) or after CaCl2 activation (platelet releasate surnatant rich in growth factors, PR-SRGF) for their content in growth factors and their ability to support the ex vivo expansion of BM-MSC. Methods: The cytokine content in the two platelet derivatives was evaluated. BM-MSC were expanded in complete medium containing 10, 7.5 and 5% PL or PR-SRGF and the cell phenotype, clonogenic capacity, immunomodulation properties and tri-lineage differentiation potential of the expanded cells in both media were investigated. Results: The concentration of PDGF-AB, PDGF-AA, PDGF-BB in PR-SRGF resulted to be respectively 5.7×, 1.7× and 2.3× higher compared to PL. PR-SRGF promoted a higher BM-MSC proliferation rate compared to PL not altering BM-MSC phenotype. Colony forming efficiency of BM-MSC expanded in PR-SRGF showed a frequency of colonies significantly higher than cells expanded in PL. BM-MSC expanded in PL or PR-SRGF maintained their immunomodulatory properties against activated lymphocytes even if BM-MSC expanded in FBS performed significantly better. Conclusions: The method used to release platelet factors significantly affects the enrichment in growth factors and overall product performance. The standardization of the production process of platelet derivatives and the definition of their release criteria requires further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number90
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Translational Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2017


  • Ex vivo expansion
  • Fetal bovine serum
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Mesenchymal stromal cells
  • Platelet lysate
  • Platelet releasate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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