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Biomaterials. 2004 Aug;25(19):4709-18.

Combination of porous hydroxyapatite and cationic liposomes as a vector for BMP-2 gene therapy.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine, Sapporo 060-8543, Japan. ichiro@sapmed.ac.jp


The clinical significance of hydroxyapatite (HAP) as a bone substitute has become apparent in recent years and bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) a substance which induces bone has attracted much attention. In this study, a 1.2 cm diameter bone defects created on rabbit cranium were treated with the BMP-2 gene (cDNA plasmid) introduced with porous HAP after completion of hemostasis and the resultant bone formation was analyzed histopathologically. The amounts of bone formation was compared BMP-2 cDNA plasmids were not combined with cationic liposomes as a vector. Four groups of rabbits were compared. In the HAP group the cranial bone defect was treated with HAP containing 40 microg of liposomes and a dummy gene (PU). The BMP gene HAP group was treated with HAP soaked in liposomes and 10 microg of the BMP-2 gene. In addition, a group was treated with the gene without implanting HAP. Bone formation on the cranial defects was evaluated 3, 6 and 9 weeks after the operation, by X-ray and histopathological examinations. Three weeks after the operation there was vigorous bone formation in the cranial defect in the group which received the BMP-2 gene without HAP, and complete ossification was observed at 9 weeks. In the group which received HAP containing the BMP-2 gene, although new bone formation was evident surrounding the scaffold 3 weeks post-operation, the induced bone tissue did not fill all the pores of the scaffold even at 9 weeks post-operation. These results confirm the clinical usefulness of gene therapy for bone formation, using the BMP-2 gene combined with cationic liposomes as a vector. It is possible that the effects of administering the BMP-2 gene will be improved by specializing the microstructure of scaffold for gene therapy.

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