Trigeminal Nitric Oxide Synthase Expression Correlates with New Bone Formation During Distraction Osteogenesis
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Nitric oxide synthase (NOS) has been reported to be involved with both bone healing and bone metabolism. The aim of this study was to test the null hypothesis that there is no correlation between new bone formation during mandibular distraction osteogenesis and NOS expression in the trigeminal ganglion of rats. Newly formed tissue during distraction osteogenesis and trigeminal NOS expression measured by the NADPH-diaphorase (NADPH-d) reaction were evaluated in 72 male Wistar rats by histomorphometric and histochemical methods. In animals submitted to 0.5 mm/day distraction osteogenesis, the percentage of bone tissue was higher in the basal area of the mandibles compared with the center and significantly increased through the experimental periods (P < 0.05). At the sixth postoperative week, the difference in bone formation between the continuous and acute distraction osteogenesis groups was the highest. Significant correlation between new bone formation by distraction osteogenesis and NADPH-d-reactive neurons was found, varying according to neuronal cell size (r = −0.6, P = 0.005, small cells strongly stained; r = 0.5, P = 0.018, large cells moderately stained). The results suggest that NOS may play a role in the bone healing process via neurogenic pathways, and the phenomenon seems to be neuronal cell morphotype-dependent. Further studies are now warranted to investigate the mechanistic link between the expression of trigeminal NOS and mandibular new bone formation by distraction osteogenesis.
KeywordsBiomechanics Bone histology and histomorphometry Fracture repair Nitric oxide Orthopedics
This study was supported by the Foundation for Research Support of São Paulo (FAPESP). We are grateful to Ms. Celia A. da Silva, Ms. Renata Ferreira da Silva and Dr. José Ferreira de Carvalho for their generous technical assistance.
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