Vascular endothelial growth factor improves bone repair in a murine nonunion model.

Christian M. Ogilvie, Chuanyong Lu, Ralph Marcucio, Mark Lee, Zachary Thompson, Diane Hu, Jill A. Helms, Theodore Miclau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a potent angiogenic factor that plays an important role during skeletal development and fracture healing. Previous experimental studies have shown that VEGF applied immediately after injury can stimulate bone repair in animal fracture nonunion models. However, the effectiveness of VEGF on an established fracture non-union has not been determined. the goal of this work was to test the ability of VEGF applied at a later stage on the healing of fracture nonunions. In this study, a murine non-union model was induced by rapid distraction of a tibia osteotomy. this model exhibits radiological and histological evidence of impaired fracture healing at 7 days after the completion of distraction. VEGF (10 μg in 20 μl Pbs/day, n=10) or control (20 μl Pbs/day, n=10) was injected directly into the distraction gap through the posterior musculature on three consecutive days (7, 8, and 9 days after completing distraction). A third group of animals (n=10) with rapid distraction, but no injections, served as non-treated controls. Fracture healing was analyzed by x-ray, histology, and histomorphometry at 27 days after the last round of distraction. radiographs showed that half of the VEGF treated animals (5/10) achieved bony healing whereas the majority of Pbs treated (7/10) and non-treated controls (8/10) did not exhibit bone bridging. Histological and histomorphometric analyses demonstrated that VEGF increased, but not significantly, the amount of bone formed in the distraction gap (1.35 ± 0.35 mm(3)), compared to the saline treated (0.77 ± 0.25 mm(3), p=0.19) and non-treated animals (0.79 ± 0.23mm(3), p=0.12). Results from this study demonstrate that VEGF potentially promotes bone repair, warranting further research in this direction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-94
Number of pages5
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - 2012


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