Heterogeneity in amount of growth factors secreted by platelets in platelet-rich plasma samples from alopecia patients

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4 Scopus citations


Platelet α-granules release growth factors (GFs) that promote healing and tissue regeneration. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is shown to be beneficial in treating alopecia, and however, clinical response can be inconsistent. Due to several fold enrichment of platelets secreting large quantities of GFs following PRP injections, heterogeneity in amounts of GFs secreted by platelets may contribute to inconsistent clinical responses. Herein, we evaluated factors that could potentially contribute to heterogeneous secretion of GFs by platelets. We measured platelet secretion of transforming growth factor beta1 (TGFβ1), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF-BB), epidermal growth factor (EGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and fibroblast growth factor (FGF2) in aliquots of de-identified PRP samples from female patients undergoing therapy in the hair disease clinic. Although secretion of GFs by platelets was comparable in PRP samples of patients with non-cicatricial and cicatricial alopecia, a Shapiro-Wilk test for normal distribution indicated significant variability across all patient samples. The amount of GF secreted by platelets was comparable when PRP prepared from two FDA-cleared devices with distinct techniques were compared. We provide evidence of platelets secreting heterogeneous amounts of GFs within each sample as high and low secretion of random factors could be simultaneously detected. These results suggest inherent heterogeneity in secretion of GFs by platelets in patient samples that are not influenced by the device used to prepare PRP. Since some GFs could have antagonistic effects on hair growth, a balance between amounts of growth promoting and inhibiting factors may be crucial in determining clinical response to PRP therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1004-1011
Number of pages8
JournalExperimental Dermatology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank University of Minnesota Medical School Dean's Commitment Fund to JAS for funding our work.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd


  • alopecia
  • clinical response
  • growth factor
  • heterogeneity
  • platelet-rich plasma


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