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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

Inhibitory Effects of Platelet-Rich Plasma on Intervertebral Disc Degeneration: A Preclinical Study in a Rabbit Model

Keke Gui, Weimin Ren, Yonglin Yu, Xin Li, Jiachun Dong, Wangping Yin

Department of Orthopedics, Jinshan Hospital, Affiliated to Fudan University, Shanghai, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2015; 21:1368-1375

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.892510

Available online:

Published: 2015-05-12


Background: Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) contains multiple growth hormones that may stimulate tissue repair. This study aimed to assess the effects of PRP in a rabbit model of IDD (annulus fibrosus puncture).
Material and Methods: Thirty-six adult New Zealand white rabbits were randomly divided into 3 groups: 0.1 mL PRP (group A), 0.1 mL phosphate-buffered saline (group B), and control (group C) (n=12/group). Annulus fibrosus puncture was performed to establish L4/5 and L5/6 IDD models. Two and 4 weeks later, 6 rabbits from each group were given an IVD injection at L4/5 and L5/6. Two or 4 weeks after injection, rabbits were scanned with X-ray and MRI before being sacrificed. IVDs were collected for hematoxylin and eosin, Masson’s trichrome, and Safranin O staining, and type II collagen immunohistochemistry.
Results: Over time, IVD height and disc imaging signal intensity decreased gradually in groups B and C, but only slightly in group A (baseline: 100% for all groups; A: 95.9±4.2% at 4 weeks, 90.1±8.4 at 6 weeks; B: 75.3±5.7% at 4 weeks, 70.8±6.4% at 6 weeks; C: 74.7±5.5% at 4 weeks, 69.9±6.2% at 6 weeks; all P<0.001, P<0.01 between A vs. B and C). Degenerative histological changes in IVDs in groups B and C were more severe compared with group A.
Conclusions: Platelet-rich plasma interventions can effectively attenuate the IDD process in rabbits.

Keywords: Disease Models, Animal, Animals, Drug Evaluation, Preclinical, Intervertebral Disc - injuries, Intervertebral Disc Degeneration - radiography, Lumbar Vertebrae - radiography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, platelet-rich plasma, Punctures, Rabbits, Random Allocation