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.