Effect of recombinant human osteogenic protein-1 on the healing of a freshly closed diaphyseal fracture

F C den Boer, J A M Bramer, T J Blokhuis, E J Van Soest, J M G T Jenner, P Patka, F C Bakker, E H Burger, H J T M Haarman
Bone 2002, 31 (1): 158-64
Osteogenic protein-1 (OP-1), or bone morphogenetic protein-7, is an osteoinductive morphogen that is involved in embryonic skeletogenesis and in bone repair. In bone defect models without spontaneous healing, local administration of recombinant human OP-1 (rhOP-1) induces complete healing. To investigate the ability of rhOP-1 to accelerate normal physiologic fracture healing, an experimental study was performed. In 40 adult female goats a closed tibial fracture was made, stabilized with an external fixator, and treated as follows: (1) no injection; (2) injection of 1 mg rhOP-1 dissolved in aqueous buffer; (3) injection of collagen matrix; and (4) injection of 1 mg rhOP-1 bound to collagen matrix. The test substances were injected in the fracture gap under fluoroscopic control. At 2 and 4 weeks, fracture healing was evaluated with radiographs, three-dimensional computed tomography (CT), dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, biomechanical tests, and histology. At 2 weeks, callus diameter, callus volume, and bone mineral content at the fracture site were significantly increased in both rhOP-1 groups compared with the no-injection group. As signs of accelerated callus maturation, bending and torsional stiffness were higher and bony bridging of the fracture gap was observed more often in the group with rhOP-1 dissolved in aqueous buffer than in uninjected fractures. Treatment with rhOP-1 plus collagen matrix did not result in improved biomechanical properties or bony bridging of the fracture gap at 2 weeks. At 4 weeks there were no differences between groups, except for a larger callus volume in the rhOP-1 plus collagen matrix group compared with the control groups. All fractures showed an advanced stage of healing at 4 weeks. In conclusion, the healing of a closed fracture in a goat model can be accelerated by a single local administration of rhOP-1. The use of a carrier material does not seem to be crucial in this application of rhOP-1.

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