Osteogenic growth peptide normally stimulated by blood loss and marrow ablation has local and systemic effects on fracture healing in rats

Michael A. Brager, Michael J. Patterson, John F. Connolly*, Zvi Nevo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Osteogenic growth peptide, a histone H4-related, 14-amino-acid peptide, is an active mediator of local, as well as systemic, osteogenic activity in response to marrow ablation, trauma, and blood loss. In this study, the effect of exogenous osteogenic growth peptide on the healing of femoral fractures in rats was investigated. A fracture at the midshaft of the femur was created in 50 rats. Half of the rats were injected subcutaneously with 25 ng of osteogenic growth peptide per rat per day for the first 7 days after fracture. Radiographs were taken each week, and the diameter of the callus was measured. The femurs of four animals from each group were harvested 1, 2, 3, and 4 weeks after fracture. Two femurs from each group were sectioned for histologic examination, and two were sectioned for measurement of density and mineral content. Marrow was aspirated from the contralateral femurs to establish adhering cell cultures, which were examined for osteogenicity. At 2 weeks, a large increase in mitogenicity and osteogenicity was seen in the marrow-derived cultures from the rats treated with osteogenic growth peptide; this increase was sustained through 4 weeks. Extraction of FWA from the contralateral marrow (systemic expression) and callus (local expression) for amplification with reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction revealed greater systemic expression of transforming growth factors β 1, β 2, and β 3, fibroblast growth factor-2, insulin-like growth factor-1, and aggrecan throughout the 4 weeks after fracture, whereas types IIA and IIB collagen, link protein. and fibroblast growth factor receptor-3 had a greater local expression. The specimens treated with osteogenic growth peptide had a stronger expression of transforming growth factor-β 1, both locally and systemically. The average diameter of the callus was greater for the treated rats at all time intervals, and peak diameters were 7.58 mm at 3 weeks for the treated rats and 6.64 mm at 2 weeks and 6.63 mrn at 3 weeks for the controls. Histological study revealed an earlier organization and faster healing of the treated fractures, as evidenced by the larger, earlier appearance of cartilaginous soft callus and the more rapid organization of bridging trabecular bone. No statistical significance was obtained when these comparisons were made between the groups. These results suggest that osteogenic growth peptide can be used to promote earlier proliferation and differentiation of osteogenic cells in marrow and bone-repair callus, possibly through its effect on the transforming growth factor-β family.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-139
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000


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