The local delivery of exogenous growth factors may help achieve a stable, long-lasting prosthetic interface around primary and revision joint replacements. This study examines the effects of local infusion of transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta) in an in vivo model of tissue differentiation within bone. The Drug Test Chamber was implanted in the proximal medial tibial metaphysis of 8 mature rabbits unilaterally. The chamber contained a 1 x 1 x 5 mm canal for tissue ingrowth. The chamber was connected to an osmotic diffusion pump via polyvinyl tubing. 3.5 microg of recombinant TGFbeta1 was infused for 1 day or 1 week with subsequent harvesting of the ingrown tissue after 3 weeks. Each TGFbeta treatment was followed by two, 3-week infusions of carrier alone and harvesting of the ingrown tissue. TGFbeta for 1 day increased, and TGFbeta for 1 week decreased the percentage of bone in the chamber, compared to the initial control harvest after carrier alone. These changes, however, did not reach statistical significance. The number of vitronectin receptor positive cells in total, adjacent to bone and away from bone was higher after treatment with TGFbeta for 1 day, compared to 1 week. In an "unperturbed" bone ingrowth system (i.e., if bone ingrowth is not initially suppressed by other stimuli), this dose of TGFbeta did not enhance bone ingrowth using the DTC model.
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