Effects of platelet rich plasma and acellular bone marrow on gene expression patterns and DNA content of equine suspensory ligament explant cultures


Department of Clinical Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853


Reasons for performing study: Suspensory ligament (SL) desmitis is a common source of lameness. The results of this study will determine if blood-derived products stimulate SL matrix synthesis and have potential as regenerative therapies for SL desmitis

Objectives: To determine if various blood-based biological products including plasma, blood, PRP, platelet poor plasma (PPP) and ABM aspirate stimulates anabolic and/or catabolic pathways in suspensory ligaments (SL).

Methods: The body of the SL was harvested from 6 horses and used to establish explant cultures. Explants were cultured in plasma, blood, PRP, PPP or ABM at concentrations of 10, 50 or 100%. Anabolic responses were assessed by use of quantitative PCR for collagens type I and III, cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) and decorin. Total DNA and collagen protein content were also measured. Catabolic reactions were measured by quantitative PCR for matrix metalloproteinases 3 and 13 (MMP-3, MMP-13).

Results: Acellular bone marrow aspirate at 100% stimulated decorin and COMP mRNA synthesis more than all other treatments at all concentrations. No treatment at any concentration stimulated the catabolic gene MMP-13; only 50% ABM stimulated MMP-13 mRNA expression.

Conclusions: Acellular bone marrow is indicated, and might be preferred to plasma, blood or PPP, as a blood-based biological source for SL tissue regenerative therapy. Long-term, placebo controlled case studies are indicated to determine if ABM aids in recovery from SL desmitis.

Potential relevance: Bone marrow aspirate is an autogenous, readily available biological source for SL regenerative therapy where the aim is to stimulate matrix synthesis.