Bone Morphogenetic Protein-7 Enhances Degradation of Osteoinductive Bioceramic Implants in an Ectopic Model

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Background:The aim of the present study was to evaluate the degradation pattern of highly porous bioceramics as well as the bone formation in presence of bone morphogenetic protein 7 (BMP-7) in an ectopic site.Methods:Novel calcium phosphate ceramic cylinders sintered at 1,300°C with a total porosity of 92–94 vol%, 45 pores per inch, and sized 15 mm (Ø) × 5 mm were grafted on the musculus latissimus dorsi bilaterally in 10 Göttingen minipigs: group I (n = 5): hydroxyapatite (HA) versus biphasic calcium phosphate (BCP), a mixture of HA and tricalcium phosphate (TCP) in a ratio of 60/40 wt%; group II (n = 5): TCP versus BCP. A test side was supplied in situ with 250 μg BMP-7. Fluorochrome bone labeling and computed tomography were performed in vivo. Specimens were evaluated 14 weeks after surgery by environmental scanning electron microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase, and pentachrome staining.Results:Bone formation was enhanced in the presence of BMP-7 in all ceramics (P = 0.001). Small spots of newly formed bone were observed in all implants in the absence of BMP-7. Degradation of HA and BCP was enhanced in the presence of BMP-7 (P = 0.001). In those ceramics, osteoclasts were observed. TCP ceramics were almost completely degraded independently of the effect of BMP-7 after 14 weeks (P = 0.76), osteoclasts were not observed.Conclusions:BMP-7 enhanced bone formation and degradation of HA and BCP ceramics via osteoclast resorption. TCP degraded via dissolution. All ceramics were osteoinductive. Novel degradable HA and BCP ceramics in the presence of BMP-7 are promising bone substitutes in the growing individual.

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