Background: Enhancing osteogenic capabilities of bone matrix for the treatment of fractures and segmental defects using growth factors is an active area of research. Recently, synthetic peptides like AC- 100, TP508 or p-15 corresponding to biologically active sequences of matrix proteins have been proven to stimulate bone formation. The platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) BB has been identified as an important paracrine factor in early bone healing. We hypothesized that the combined use of PDGF-BB with synthetic peptides could result in an increase in proliferation and calcification of osteoblast-like cells.
Methods: Osteoblast-like cell cultures were treated with PDGF and synthetic peptides, singly and as combinations, and compared to non-treated control cell cultures. The cultures were evaluated at days 2, 5, and 10 in terms of cell proliferation, calcification and gene expression of alkaline phosphate, collagen I and osteocalcin.
Results: Experimental findings revealed that the addition of PDGF, p-15 and TP508 and combinations of PDGF/AC-100, PDGF/p-15 and PDGF/TP508 resulted in an increase in proliferating osteoblasts, especially in the first 5 days of cultivation. Proliferation did not significantly differ between single factors and factor combinations (p > 0.05). The onset of calcification in osteoblasts occurred earlier and was more distinct compared to the corresponding control or PDGF stimulation alone. Significant difference was found for the combined use of PDGF/p-15 and PDGF/AC-100 (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Our findings indicate that PDGF exhibits cooperative effects with synthetic peptides in differentiation and proliferation. These cooperative effects cause a significant early calcification of osteoblast-like cells (p < 0.05). We suggest the combination of synthetic peptides and PDGF as a potential clinical approach for accelerating bone healing or coating osteosynthesis materials.