Effects of Platelet-Rich Plasma With Concomitant Use of a Corticosteroid on Tenocytes From Degenerative Rotator Cuff Tears in Interleukin 1β–Induced Tendinopathic Conditions

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A corticosteroid injection is commonly used to treat tendinopathy, but it has been associated with negative effects on tendon homeostasis. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is known to have proliferative and anabolic effects as well as cytoprotective effects against corticosteroids on tenocytes. However, the combined effects of a corticosteroid and PRP on the anti-inflammatory, matrix synthesis, and cytoprotective potential of tenocytes in conditions simulating tendinopathy have not been investigated.


To assess the effects of PRP on tenocytes from degenerative rotator cuff tears with the concomitant use of a corticosteroid in interleukin 1β (IL-1β)–induced tendinopathic conditions.

Study Design:

Controlled laboratory study.


Tenocytes were enzymatically isolated and cultured from patients with degenerative rotator cuff tears. PRP was prepared using a plateletpheresis system, and growth factor concentrations were measured. To evaluate the gene expression of proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines, enzymes and their inhibitors, and matrix molecules, cells were cultured with 1 ng/mL IL-1β, 1 μM dexamethasone, and 10% (vol/vol) platelet-poor plasma (PPP) and PRP of 200, 1000, and 4000 × 103/μL; quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction was also performed. Western blotting was performed to investigate the protein synthesis of degradative enzymes and their inhibitors. Cell viability, apoptosis, and senescence assays were also conducted.


PRP did not interfere with the anti-inflammatory effects of dexamethasone on tenocytes pretreated with IL-1β, but it increased the synthesis of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)–1 and -3. Meanwhile, PRP did not induce anti-inflammatory cytokines that had been suppressed with a corticosteroid. It did increase the type I/III collagen ratio mainly through the suppression of type III collagen expression. PRP reversed the decreased viability, increased apoptosis, and induced senescence with IL-1β and a corticosteroid.


This study shows that the addition of PRP does not interfere with the anti-inflammatory effects of a corticosteroid on IL-1β–treated tenocytes from degenerative rotator cuff tears but that it does avoid the deleterious side effects of a corticosteroid.

Clinical Relevance:

PRP can be clinically useful with a corticosteroid as a treatment for tendinopathy.

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