Background: Tissue-engineered bone may be used for filling bone defects. There are, however, no reports on this technique used in large animals.
Methods: We evaluated the effectiveness of, and immune response in repairing diaphyseal bone defects by gene transfer using bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs). We used adenovirus-mediated human BMP-2 (Adv-hBMP-2) gene-transduced bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) to repair 2.1-cm segmental tibial bone defects in goats (group I, n = 7). An Adv-ssgal-transduced BMSC group (group II, n = 5), a non-transduced BMSC group (group III, n = 5), and an untreated group (group IV, n = 2) were used as controls. Self-secreted extracellular matrix was used as cellular carrier.
Results: Radiographic and histomorphometric examination demonstrated more callus in the bone defects of group I compared to other groups. Week 24 after implantation, the defect healing rates of groups I, II, III, and IV were 6/7, 1/5, 2/5, and 0/2, respectively. The maximum compressive strength of new tissue in the bone defects of group I was higher than those of groups II and III. Temporary cellular and persistent humoral immune responses against adenovirus were detected after hBMP-2 gene transfer.
Interpretation: We found that Adv-hBMP-2 genetransduced BMSCs had superior osteoinductivity in the repair of tibial bone defects in goats, but it could cause temporary cellular and persistent humoral immune responses against adenovirus.