Background: The repair of alveolar bone defects with growth factors and bone grafting materials has played a pivotal role in modern dentistry. Recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (rhBMP2), an osteoinductive growth factor capable of cell recruitment and differentiation towards the osteoblast lineage, has been utilized in combination with various biomaterials to further enhance new bone formation. Recently, a group of novel biphasic calcium phosphate (BCP) bone grafting materials have been demonstrated to possess osteoinductive properties by demonstrating signs of ectopic bone formation. The aim of the present study was to study the effects of rhBMP2 in combination with osteoinductive BCP bone grafts on osteoblast cell behaviour.
Methods: MC3T3-E1 pre-osteoblasts were seeded on 1) control tissue culture plastic, 2) 10 mg of BCP alone, 3) 100 ng rhBMP2, and 4) 100 ng rhBMP2+ 10 mg of BCP and analyzed for cell recruitment via a Transwell chamber, proliferation via an MTS assay and differentiation as assessed by alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, alizarin red staining and real-time PCR for osteoblast differentiation markers including Runx2, collagen1, ALP, and osteocalcin (OCN).
Results: rhBMP2 was able to significantly upregulate cell recruitment whereas the addition of BCP as well as BCP alone had no additional ability to improve osteoblast recruitment. Both BCP and rhBMP2 were able to significantly increase cell proliferation at 3 and 5 days post seeding and cell number was further enhanced when rhBMP2 was combined with BCP. In addition, the combination of rhBMP2 with BCP significantly improved ALP activity at 7 and 14 days post seeding, alizarin red staining at 14 days, and mRNA levels of Runx2, ALP and osteocalcin when compared to cells seeded with rhBMP2 alone or BCP alone.
Conclusions: The results from the present study demonstrate that 1) the osteoinductive potential of BCP bone particles is equally as osteopromotive as rhBMP2 on in vitro osteoblast differentiation and 2) BCP particles in combination with rhBMP2 is able to further increase the osteopromotive differentiation of osteoblasts in vitro when compared to either rhBMP2 alone or BCP alone. Future animal testing is further required to investigate this combination approach on new bone formation.
Keywords: BCP; Bone morphogenetic protein; Growth factors; Guided bone regeneration; Vivoss.