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Exp Ther Med. 2016 Dec;12(6):3595-3601. doi: 10.3892/etm.2016.3839. Epub 2016 Oct 26.

Serum N-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen as an early marker of fracture nonunion in rabbits.

Author information

1
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510515, P.R. China; Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Hainan Provincial People's Hospital, Haikou, Hainan 570311, P.R. China.
2
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510515, P.R. China.
3
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Hainan Provincial People's Hospital, Haikou, Hainan 570311, P.R. China.

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to establish an experimental animal model of fracture nonunion, and to investigate the changes in serum biomarker concentrations in fracture nonunion. A total of 20 purebred New Zealand rabbits were divided into two group: A bone defect group and a bone fracture group. In the bone defect group, a 15-mm section of bone (including the periosteum) was removed from the mid-radius, and the medullary cavities were closed with bone wax. In the bone fracture group, the mid-radius was fractured. X-rays were taken and blood samples were collected preoperatively and at 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 and 12 weeks after the surgical procedure. The serum concentrations of osteocalcin (OC) and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BSAP) served as markers of bone formation, and those of C-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (CTX), N-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (NTX) and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase 5b (TRACP 5b) served as markers of bone resorption. The concentration levels of the markers were measured using a biotin double-antibody sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. In the bone defect group, bone callus was observed on X-ray at 2 weeks in three rabbits and the bone calluses stabilized at 5 weeks; however, none of the bones had healed at 8 weeks. In the bone fracture group, the fracture line was distorted at 2 weeks and bone calluses formed at 6-8 weeks. In the bone defect group, the serum BSAP and TRACP 5b concentrations increased following the surgical procedure, peaked at 4 weeks, began to decrease at 5 weeks and stabilized after 6 weeks. The serum OC concentrations did not change significantly following the surgical procedure. The serum CTX concentrations fluctuated during the first 4 weeks, peaked at 5 weeks, then decreased and stabilized after 6 weeks. The serum NTX concentrations fluctuated during the first 4 weeks, were significantly lower at 5 weeks compared with the other time points and stabilized after 6 weeks. These results suggested that a bone nonunion model can be established in New Zealand rabbits by resecting a 15-mm section of bone from the mid-radius prior to bone wax blocking. Measurement of the serum BSAP, CTX, NTX, and TRACP 5b concentrations may be useful for the early detection of bone nonunion. The serum NTX concentrations changed significantly in rabbits with bone nonunion. Further studies are required in order to determine the feasibility of using serum NTX concentrations for the early diagnosis of bone nonunion.

KEYWORDS:

C-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen; N-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen; biomarkers; bone-specific alkaline phosphatase; enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; nonunion; osteocalcin; tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase 5b

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