Since the experimental conditions of cell cultures may bias results, it is critical to use suitable models. This is also true in the context of tendon cell biology and the study of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapies and PRP-augmented cell-based therapies. We compared the culture of human tendon cells in 2 dimensions (2D) with PRP-supplemented media to culture in matching 3-dimensional (3D) PRP hydrogels. Cell proliferation, cell shape, and the pattern of gene and protein expression were examined. Our data revealed modifications in cell shape and enhanced expression of tenomodulin and scleraxis in 3D hydrogels. Additionally, protein secretion analysis using glass-based arrays specific for angiogenesis revealed differences in interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8 protein expression between 2D cultures and 3D hydrogels, while the secretion of other angiogenic or inflammatory cytokines was unaffected. Our study suggests that 3D hydrogels are physiologically more relevant than 2D cultures in the study of tendon cells, based on cell shape, support of tenocyte proliferation, phenotype, and the pattern of gene and protein expression.
© 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel