While the histological and ultrastructural changes associated with distraction osteogenesis have been extensively characterized using various animal models, the molecular mechanisms governing this technique remain poorly understood. In the current study, for the first time, we describe a mouse mandibular distraction osteogenesis model. Development of this model will allow assessment of factors involved in normal vs. abnormal healing (especially in non-unions) of craniofacial skeletal elements. Complete osteotomies were created on the right hemimandibles of 51 adult male CD-1 mice and customized distraction devices attached. Thirty-three animals underwent gradual distraction (5 days latency, distraction at 0.2 mm BID x 8 days, 28 days consolidation), while the remaining 18 mice underwent acute lengthening (immediate distraction to 3.2 mm) at the time of surgery. Mandibles were harvested at time points corresponding to the latent (POD 5), distraction (POD 9, 13), and consolidation (POD 28, 41) periods and processed for histological or quantitative real-time RT-PCR analysis. Specimens from each group were processed for microCT analysis. Histological and radiological data demonstrated that all mandibles undergoing gradual distraction achieved complete bony union by the end of consolidation, while those undergoing acute lengthening formed a fibrous non-union. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR demonstrated upregulation of mRNA for VEGF, FGF-2, collagen I, and osteopontin during gradual distraction but not during acute lengthening. These data validate our novel mouse mandibular distraction model and demonstrate its utility in elucidating the molecular mechanisms regulating bone formation during distraction osteogenesis as compared to those that are expressed during the formation of fibrous non-unions.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.bone.2004.02.011
View details for Web of Science ID 000222219600009
View details for PubMedID 15193546