The objective of the present study was to assess the ability of bone marrow cells expressing BMP-2 created via lentiviral gene transfer to heal a critical sized femoral defect in a rat model. Femoral defects in Lewis rats were implanted with 5 × 106 rat bone marrow stromal cells (RBMSC) transduced with a lentiviral vector containing either the BMP-2 gene (Group I), the enhanced green fluorescent protein (LV-GFP) gene (Group IV), or RBMSC alone (Group V). We also included femoral defects that were treated with BMP-2-producing RBMSC transduced with lentivirus, 8 weeks after infection (Group III), and a group with 1 × 106 RBMSC transduced with a lentiviral vector with the BMP-2 gene (Group II). All defects (10/10) treated in Group I healed at 8 weeks compared with none of the femora in the control groups (Groups IV and V). In Group II, only one out of 10 femora healed. In Group III, 5 out of 10 femora healed. Significantly higher amounts of in vitro BMP-2 protein production were detected in Groups I, II, and III when compared to that of the control groups (p < 0.05). Histomorphometric analysis revealed significantly greater total bone volume in defects in Group I and III when compared to control specimens (p < 0.003). Biomechanical testing revealed no significant differences in the healed defects in Groups I and III when compared to intact, nonoperated femora with respect to peak torque and torque to failure. Our results indicate that BMP-2-producing RBMSC created through lentiviral gene transfer have the capability of inducing long-term protein production in vitro and producing substantial new bone formation in vivo.
- Bone morphogenetic protein
- Femoral defect
- Gene therapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism