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Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) have a therapeutic potential in patients with fractures to reduce the time of healing and treat nonunions. The use of MSC to treat fractures is attractive for several reasons. First, MSCs would be implementing conventional reparative process that seems to be defective or protracted. Secondly, the effects of MSCs treatment would be needed only for relatively brief duration of reparation. However, an integrated approach to define the multiple regenerative contributions of MSC to the fracture repair process is necessary before clinical trials are initiated. In this study, using a stabilized tibia fracture mouse model, we determined the dynamic migration of transplanted MSC to the fracture site, their contributions to the repair process initiation, and their role in modulating the injury-related inflammatory responses. Using MSC expressing luciferase, we determined by bioluminescence imaging that the MSC migration at the fracture site is time- and dose-dependent and, it is exclusively CXCR4-dependent. MSC improved the fracture healing affecting the callus biomechanical properties and such improvement correlated with an increase in cartilage and bone content, and changes in callus morphology as determined by micro-computed tomography and histological studies. Transplanting CMV-Cre-R26R-Lac Z-MSC, we found that MSCs engrafted within the callus endosteal niche. Using MSCs from BMP-2-Lac Z mice genetically modified using a bacterial artificial chromosome system to be beta-gal reporters for bone morphogenic protein 2 (BMP-2) expression, we found that MSCs contributed to the callus initiation by expressing BMP-2. The knowledge of the multiple MSC regenerative abilities in fracture healing will allow design of novel MSC-based therapies to treat fractures.
UNLABELLED - OPN is an ECM protein with diverse localization and functionality. The role of OPN during fracture healing was examined using wildtype and OPN(-/-) mice. Results showed that OPN plays an important role in regulation of angiogenesis, callus formation, and mechanical strength in early stages of healing and facilitates late stage bone remodeling and ECM organization.
INTRODUCTION - Osteopontin (OPN) is an extracellular matrix (ECM) protein with diverse localization and functionality that has been reported to play a regulatory role in both angiogenesis and osteoclastic bone remodeling, two vital processes for normal bone healing.
MATERIALS AND METHODS - Bone repair in wildtype and OPN(-/-) mice was studied using a femoral fracture model. microCT was used for quantitative angiographic measurements at 7 and 14 days and to assess callus size and mineralization at 7, 14, 28, and 56 days. Biomechanical testing was performed on intact bones and on fracture specimens at 14, 28, and 56 days. Histology and quantitative RT-PCR were used to evaluate cellular functions related to ECM formation and bone remodeling.
RESULTS - OPN deficiency was validated in the OPN(-/-) mice, which generally displayed normal levels of related ECM proteins. Intact OPN(-/-) bones displayed increased elastic modulus but decreased strength and ductility. Fracture neovascularization was reduced at 7 but not 14 days in OPN(-/-) mice. OPN(-/-) mice exhibited smaller fracture calluses at 7 and 14 days, as well as lower maximum torque and work to failure. At 28 days, OPN(-/-) mice had normal callus size but a persistent reduction in maximum torque and work to failure. Osteoclast differentiation occurred normally, but mature osteoclasts displayed reduced functionality, decreasing late stage remodeling in OPN(-/-) mice. Thus, at 56 days, OPN(-/-) fractures possessed increased callus volume, increased mechanical stiffness, and altered collagen fiber organization.
CONCLUSIONS - This study showed multiple, stage-dependent roles of OPN during fracture healing. We conclude that OPN deficiency alters the functionality of multiple cell types, resulting in delayed early vascularization, altered matrix organization and late remodeling, and reduced biomechanical properties. These findings contribute to an improved understanding of the role of OPN in vivo and provide new insight into mechanistic control of vascularization and bone regeneration during fracture repair.
We tested the hypothesis that combined administration of IL-1 and TNF antagonists would protect fracture healing from inhibition by chronic ethanol exposure. Adult male rats were fed a liquid diet +/- ethanol (CON and ETOH) by intragastric infusion for three weeks prior to and three weeks after creation of an externally fixated tibial fracture. Beginning the day of fracture, one-half of each dietary group received 2.0 mg/kg/day IL-1ra and 2.0 mg/kg/2-days sTNFR1 (CON + ANTAG and ETOH + ANTAG), while all other animals received vehicle alone (CON + VEH and ETOH + VEH). Scoring of ex vivo radiographs and analysis by pQCT revealed a significantly lower incidence of bridging and reduced total mineral content in the ETOH + VEH group compared to all other groups. These results support, for the first time, the hypothesis that IL-1 and TNF antagonists are capable of protecting fracture healing from the inhibition associated with chronic ethanol consumption.
A model was established in 39 dogs to investigate the growth factor modulation of regenerate bone in distraction osteogenesis. A segment of the diaphysis of the radius was resected unilaterally. An osteotomy was made proximal to the segmental defect to create a transport segment. A monolateral external fixator was applied. After a latency period, the segment was transported across the defect. One week after the transport assembly contacted the distal pin clamp, an ipsilateral osteotomy of the proximal ulna was performed. In 20 dogs, transforming growth factor-beta was injected into the regenerate bone halfway through the transport period. Four dogs were sacrificed before docking, when the regenerate bone was still immature. In specimens harvested halfway through the transport period, evidence was found of intramembranous ossification during distraction. In specimens harvested after the transport assembly contacted the distal pin clamp, evidence was found that the mature regenerate formed by endochondral ossification. Therefore, a combined mechanism of ossification is proposed for this segmental defect model that includes mechanical stimulus for bone differentiation. The one-time administration of transforming growth factor-beta retarded the formation of a stable, united regenerate. It is concluded that transforming growth factor-beta caused an effect opposite to that which was desired.
Long-term results on the use of structural allografts (> or = 10 cm) to reconstruct large skeletal defects sustained during high-energy, open lower extremity fractures have not been reported. Eight patients are retrospectively reviewed at postallograft time periods ranging from 18 to 93 months. Two patients required reoperation for noninfectious causes, and each healed uneventfully. Four individuals developed infectious complications, but only one required complete allograft removal (amputation). The others remain infection free at follow-up. Using any of three different rating systems, excellent functional outcome results from this method of reconstruction in an otherwise exceptionally challenging extremity for limb salvage.