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J Orthop Sci. 2011 Jan;16(1):99-104. doi: 10.1007/s00776-010-0019-x. Epub 2011 Feb 4.

Sustained-release rhBMP-2 increased bone mass and bone strength in an ovine model of postmenopausal osteoporosis.

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  • 1Institute of Orthopaedics, Xijing Hospital, The Fourth Military Medical University, No. 17 Changlexi Road, Xi'an, 710032, Shaanxi, People's Republic of China.



The purpose of this study was to analyze the local treatment effects of rhBMP-2 combined with fibrin sealant (FS) on bone mineral density, microarchitectural and mechanical properties in osteoporotic ovine spine.


Postmenopausal osteoporosis was induced in eight sheep through ovariectomy (OVX) and a low-calcium diet for a period of 12 months. According to the Latin square design, L3-L6 vertebrae were randomly assigned to four treatment groups: A (rhBMP-2/FS), B (rhBMP-2), C (FS) and D (blank control). All materials were injected into the assigned vertebra transpedicularly. All animals were euthanized 3 months after treatment. Bone mineral density (BMD), microarchitectural and mechanical properties were assessed. ANOVA analysis of variance was used to determine effects of rhBMP-2/FS (α = 0.05).


The BMD in group A (rhBMP-2/FS) was 18.8, 30.4 and 27.9% higher than that in group B, C and D, respectively. Analysis of bone structure by micro-CT revealed higher trabecular bone volume (BV/TV), trabecular thickness (Tb.Th) and trabecular number (Tb.N) in the rhBMP-2/FS group (P < 0.01). In addition, vertebrae treated with rhBMP-2/FS exhibited higher yield stress, ultimate stress, energy absorption and bone modulus compared to the control groups.


Local administration of rhBMP-2/FS showed a positive trend in improving BMD, microarchitectural parameters and mechanical strength of osteoporotic vertebra. Slow release of rhBMP-2 using FS appeared to be an effective method of protein delivery. The local treatment of osteoporosis in the spine can increase bone strength and reduce fracture risk quickly.

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