BACKGROUND: Osteoprotegerin (OPG) is used for the systemic treatment of bone diseases, although it has many side effects. The aim of this study was to investigate a newly formulated OPG-chitosan gel for local application to repair bone defects. Recent studies have reported that immunodetection of osteopontin (OPN) and osteocalcin (OC) can be used to characterise osteogenesis and new bone formation.
METHODS: The osteogenic potential of the OPG-chitosan gel was evaluated in rabbits. Critical-sized defects were created in the calvarial bone, which were either left unfilled (control; group I), or filled with chitosan gel (group II) or OPG-chitosan gel (group III), with rabbits sacrificed at 6 and 12 weeks. Bone samples from the surgical area were decalcified and treated with routine histological and immunohistochemical protocols using OC, OPN, and cathepsin K (osteoclast marker) antibodies. The toxicity of the OPG-chitosan gel was evaluated by biochemical assays (liver and kidney function tests).
RESULTS: The mean bone growth in defects filled with the OPG-chitosan gel was significantly higher than those filled with the chitosan gel or the unfilled group (p
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.