Effects of FGF-2 on metaphyseal fracture repair in rabbit tibiae

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Fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) has been found to have stimulatory effects on fracture repair at diaphysis, while its effect on metaphyseal fracture repair, where spongiosal bone is dominant, has not been studied. This study was conducted to investigate the effect of FGF-2 on metaphyseal fracture healing in a rabbit proximal tibial metaphyseal model. The proximal tibial metaphysis of 6-month-old Japanese white rabbits was osteotomized bilaterally. Then 400 μg of FGF-2, mixed with gelatin hydrogel, and gelatin hydrogel alone (the control) were injected to each osteotomy site of the rabbit proximal tibiae, and the osteotomies were fixed with staples. One and 2 weeks after surgery, the osteoid area in the repairing spongiosal bone at the fracture site was significantly larger in the FGF-2 group than in the control group (P < 0.05). On immunohistochemistry, proliferating-cell nuclear antigen-positive cells had a tendency to show greater numbers in the FGF-2 group. After 4 and 8 weeks, values for bone mineral density and the cancellous bone area in the healing region of the fracture site were significantly larger in the FGF-2 group (P < 0.05). These data suggest that local application of FGF-2 may have an accelerating effect on the repair of metaphyseal fractures. Exogenous recombinant human rhFGF-2 may have potential clinical applications in metaphyseal fracture treatment.

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