Osseointegration of hydroxyapatite implants in rat tibial defects with sciatic nerve injury.

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Marcelo Rodrigues da Cunha; Isabela Ortiz Laraia; Guacira R. Franco; Natalia N. Miguel; Ana A. Maciel; Geovane Ribeiro dos Santos & Ricardo Noboro Isayama


Bone metabolism is influenced by different factors and muscle activity acts as a stimulator of bone plasticity. Conditions such as nerve injuries can compromise bone physiology due to muscle inactivity. Preview studies have shown that nerve damage reduces P substance and calcitonin gene-related peptides, also known as neuropeptides that may have a key role on bone healing. Therefore, this study evaluated the osseointegration of hydroxyapatite implants in tibial defects of rats submitted to unilateral sciatic nerve section. Twelve Wistar rats were divided into two groups (G1 and G2). In G1, the sciatic nerve was left intact and in G2 the left sciatic nerve was completely sectioned. An experimental tibial bone defect was then created in both groups and filled with hydroxyapatite granules. The animals were sacrificed 2 months after implantation and samples were submitted to macroscopic inspection and histological analysis. Good radiopacity of the hydroxyapatite granules and radiographic definition of the bone defect were noted. Histologic analysis revealed formation of new bone adjacent to the hydroxyapatite granules in G1 and, to a lesser extent, in G2 in which the proliferation of connective tissue predominated at the implant site. The formation of new bone stimulated by hydroxyapatite in bone defects can be expected even in animals with limb paralysis due to nerve injury; however, bone formation occurs at a slower speed in these animals and the volume of newly formed bone is lower.

KEY WORDS: Hydroxyapatite; Sciatic nerve; Bone healing.

How to cite this article

DA CUNHA, M. R.; LARAIA, I. O.; FRANCO, G. R.; MIGUEL, N. N.; MACIEL, A. A.; DOS SANTOS, G. R. & ISAYAMA, R. N. Osseointegration of hydroxyapatite implants in rat tibial defects with sciatic nerve injury. Int. J. Morphol., 33(2):620-625, 2015.