Cell-based gene therapy for repair of critical size defects in the rat fibula

Zawaunyka W. Lazard, Michael H. Heggeness, John A. Hipp, Corinne Sonnet, Angie S. Fuentes, Rita P. Nistal, Alan R. Davis, Ronke M. Olabisi, Jennifer L. West, Elizabeth A. Olmsted-Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


More than a decade has passed since the first experiments using adenovirus-transduced cells expressing bone morphogenetic protein 2 were performed for the synthesis of bone. Since this time, the field of bone gene therapy has tackled many issues surrounding safety and efficacy of this type of strategy. We present studies examining the parameters of the timing of bone healing, and remodeling when heterotopic ossification (HO) is used for bone fracture repair using an adenovirus gene therapy approach. We use a rat fibula defect, which surprisingly does not heal even when a simple fracture is introduced. In this model, the bone quickly resorbs most likely due to the non-weight bearing nature of this bone in rodents. Using our gene therapy system robust HO can be introduced at the targeted location of the defect resulting in bone repair. The HO and resultant bone healing appeared to be dose dependent, based on the number of AdBMP2-transduced cells delivered. Interestingly, the HO undergoes substantial remodeling, and assumes the size and shape of the missing segment of bone. However, in some instances we observed some additional bone associated with the repair, signifying that perhaps the forces on the newly forming bone are inadequate to dictate shape. In all cases, the HO appeared to fuse into the adjacent long bone. The data collectively indicates that the use of BMP2 gene therapy strategies may vary depending on the location and nature of the defect. Therefore, additional parameters should be considered when implementing such strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1563-1571
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


  • bone repair
  • critical size defect
  • heterotopic ossification


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