Human Platelet Lysate as Alternative of Fetal Bovine Serum for Enhanced Human In Vitro Bone Resorption and Remodeling

Bregje W. M. de Wildt, Keita Ito and Sandra Hofmann

Published: 20 June 2022


Introduction: To study human physiological and pathological bone remodeling while addressing the principle of replacement, reduction and refinement of animal experiments (3Rs), human in vitro bone remodeling models are being developed. Despite increasing safety-, scientific-, and ethical concerns, fetal bovine serum (FBS), a nutritional medium supplement, is still routinely used in these models. To comply with the 3Rs and to improve the reproducibility of such in vitro models, xenogeneic-free medium supplements should be investigated. Human platelet lysate (hPL) might be a good alternative as it has been shown to accelerate osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) and improve subsequent mineralization. However, for a human in vitro bone model, hPL should also be able to adequately support osteoclastic differentiation and subsequent bone resorption. In addition, optimizing co-culture medium conditions in mono-cultures might lead to unequal stimulation of co-cultured cells.

Methods: We compared supplementation with 10% FBS vs. 10%, 5%, and 2.5% hPL for osteoclast formation and resorption by human monocytes (MCs) in mono-culture and in co-culture with (osteogenically stimulated) human MSCs.

Results and discussion: Supplementation of hPL can lead to a less donor-dependent and more homogeneous osteoclastic differentiation of MCs when compared to supplementation with 10% FBS. In co-cultures, osteoclastic differentiation and resorption in the 10% FBS group was almost completely inhibited by MSCs, while the supplementation with hPL still allowed for resorption, mostly at low concentrations. The addition of hPL to osteogenically stimulated MSC mono- and MC-MSC co-cultures resulted in osteogenic differentiation and bone-like matrix formation, mostly at high concentrations.

Conclusion: We conclude that hPL could support both osteoclastic differentiation of human MCs and osteogenic differentiation of human MSCs in mono- and in co-culture, and that this can be balanced by the hPL concentration. Thus, the use of hPL could limit the need for FBS, which is currently commonly accepted for in vitro bone remodeling models.

Full Access Link: Frontiers in Immunology