Repair of critical-size bone defects using bone marrow stromal cells: a histomorphometric study in rabbit calvaria. Part I: Use of fresh bone marrow or bone marrow mononuclear fraction.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to compare the bone healing observed after the use of (1) a scaffold enriched with fresh bone marrow, (2) a scaffold enriched with bone marrow mononuclear fraction, and (3) a scaffold alone. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Twenty one rabbits were randomly divided into three groups of six animals and 1 group of 3 animals. Bilateral 12-mm diameter defects were created in the animals parietal bones. In Control Group, the defects were filled with a xenograft alone (n = 6); in Group 1, with a xenograft enriched with fresh bone marrow (n = 6); in Group 2, with a xenograft enriched with bone marrow mononuclear fraction (n = 6) and in Unfilled Group, nothing was grafted (n = 3). In Groups 1, 2, and Control, one of the calvarial defects was randomly covered with a barrier membrane. The rabbits were sacrificed 8 weeks after surgery, and their parietal bones were harvested and analyzed histomorphometrically. RESULTS: The histomorphometric analysis showed no difference between Group 1 and the Control Group regarding non-vital mineralized tissue area, but Group 2 showed a statistically significant higher percentage than the Control Group (P < 0.05) for both situations, with membrane (21.24 ± 3.78% and 13.52 ± 3.00%, respectively) and without membrane (20.91 ± 2.01% and 13.08 ± 1.72%, respectively). Group 2 showed the highest percentage of vital mineralized tissue area, followed by Group 1 and the Control Group (P < 0.05) for both situations, with membrane (28.17 ± 3.19%; 21.14 ± 7.38% and 13.06 ± 5.24%, respectively) and without membrane (21.13 ± 0.55%; 12.45 ± 6.34% and 6.56 ± 1.20%, respectively). Group 2 showed the lowest percentage of non-mineralized tissue area, followed by Group 1 and Control Group (P < 0.05) for both situations, with membrane (50.59 ± 6.64%; 58.75 ± 7.14% and 73.41 ± 6.87%, respectively) and without membrane (57.97 ± 1.91%; 71.74 ± 6.63% and 80.37 ± 2.67%, respectively). The sides in which the defects were covered with the barrier membrane showed better bone healing compared with the uncovered sides, in all groups (intragroup comparison, P < 0.05). The Unfilled Group specimens showed no bone formation. CONCLUSIONS: Both methods using bone marrow stromal cells contributed to enhancing bone healing, especially that using the bone marrow mononuclear fraction. The use of a barrier membrane seemed to have a synergistic effect.