Journal of orthopaedic surgery and research

Utilization of a genetically modified muscle flap for local BMP-2 production and its effects on bone healing: a histomorphometric and radiological study in a rat model.

PMID 25924919


We developed an experimental rat model to explore the possibility of enhancing the healing of critical-size bone defects. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the feasibility of this concept by achieving high local BMP-2 expression via a transduced muscle flap that would facilitate bony union while minimizing systemic sequelae. The transduction potential of the adenoviral vector encoding for BMP-2 was tested in different cell lines in vitro. In vivo experiments consisted of harvesting a pedicled quadriceps femoris muscle flap with subsequent creation of a critical-size defect in the left femur in Sprague-Dawley rats. Next, the pedicled muscle flap was perfused with high titers of Ad.BMP-2 and Ad.GFP virus, respectively. Twelve animals were divided into three groups comparing the effects of Ad.BMP-2 transduction to Ad.GFP and placebo. Bone healing was monitored radiologically with subsequent histological analysis post-mortem. The feasibility of this concept was demonstrated by successful transduction in vitro and in vivo as evidenced by a marked increase of BMP-2 expression. The three examined groups only showed minor difference regarding bone regeneration; however, one complete bridging of the defect was observed in the Ad.BMP-2 group. No evidence of systemic viral contamination was noted. A marked increase of local BMP-2 expression (without untoward systemic sequelae) was detected. However, bone healing was not found to be significantly enhanced, possibly due to the small sample size of the study.