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J Bone Miner Res. 2010 Jun;25(6):1305-13. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.19.

Uncoupled angiogenesis and osteogenesis in nicotine-compromised bone healing.

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  • 1Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.


Nicotine is the main chemical component responsible for tobacco addiction. This study aimed to evaluate the influence of nicotine on angiogenesis and osteogenesis and the associated expression of angiogenic and osteogenic mediators during bone healing. Forty-eight adult New Zealand White rabbits were randomly assigned to a nicotine group and a control group. Nicotine pellets (1.5 g, 60-day time release) or placebo pellets were implanted in the neck subcutaneous tissue. The nicotine or placebo exposure time for all the animals was 7 weeks. Unilateral mandibular distraction osteogenesis was performed. Eight animals in each group were euthanized on day 5, day 11 of active distraction, and week 1 of consolidation, respectively. The mandibular samples were subjected to radiographic, histologic, immunohistochemical, and real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction examinations. Nicotine exposure upregulated the expression of hypoxia inducible factor 1alpha and vascular endothelial growth factor and enhanced angiogenesis but inhibited the expression of bone morphogenetic protein 2 and impaired bone healing. The results indicate that nicotine decouples angiogenesis and osteogenesis in this rabbit model of distraction osteogenesis, and the enhanced angiogenesis cannot compensate for the adverse effects of nicotine on bone healing.

(c) 2010 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.

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