Deferoxamine Enhances Bone Regeneration in Mandibular Distraction Osteogenesis


Farberg, Aaron S. M.D.; Sarhaddi, Deniz B.A.; Donneys, Alexis M.D.; Deshpande, Sagar S. B.S.; Buchman, Steven R. M.D.


Background: Distraction osteogenesis is a powerful reconstructive technique for bone growth and repair. An angiogenic means of enhancing the efficacy of this metabolically demanding procedure would be beneficial in expanding its therapeutic potential. The authors posit that the angiogenic effect of deferoxamine, an iron chelator that has been shown to increase angiogenesis, will improve bone regeneration by means of augmentations in quality and quantity of bone and bone-producing cells.

Methods: Two groups of rats (n = 12) underwent surgical external fixation and subsequent distraction. During the distraction stage, the experimental deferoxamine group (n = 5) was treated with injections into the distraction gap. After 28 days of consolidation, mandibles were harvested and prepared for histologic analysis.

Results: The authors found a proliferation of osteocytes in the deferoxamine-treated group when compared with the regenerate of the control group. Deferoxamine effected a significant increase in osteocytes and an increase in bone volume fraction, with subsequent decreased osteoid volume fraction. The data also demonstrated no significant difference in empty lacunae.

Conclusions: The authors’ study demonstrates the effectiveness of deferoxamine treatment to enhance the number of osteocytes within the regenerate in a murine mandibular distraction osteogenesis model. Maintenance of full lacunae supports the authors’ finding of a robust cellular response to deferoxamine therapy. These results suggest that the angiogenic capabilities of deferoxamine translate into an increase in the number of bone-forming cells in the regenerate. Deferoxamine may have utility in optimizing bone formation in distraction osteogenesis and lead to superior reconstructive capabilities for craniofacial surgeons in the future.

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