Delayed union of femoral fractures in older rats:decreased gene expression.


BACKGROUND:Fracture healing slows with age. While 6-week-old rats regain normal bone biomechanics at 4 weeks after fracture, one-year-old rats require more than 26 weeks. The possible role of altered mRNA gene expression in this delayed union was studied. Closed mid-shaft femoral fractures were induced followed by euthanasia at 0 time (unfractured) or at 1, 2, 4 or 6 weeks after fracture in 6-week-old and 12-15-month-old Sprague-Dawley female rats. mRNA levels were measured for osteocalcin, type I collagen alpha1, type II collagen, bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-2, BMP-4 and the type IA BMP receptor. RESULTS:For all of the genes studied, the mRNA levels increased in both age groups to a peak at one to two weeks after fracture. All gene expression levels decreased to very low or undetectable levels at four and six weeks after fracture for both age groups. At four weeks after fracture, the younger rats were healed radiographically, but not the older rats. CONCLUSIONS:(1) All genes studied were up-regulated by fracture in both age groups. Thus, the failure of the older rats to heal promptly was not due to the lack of expression of any of the studied genes. (2) The return of the mRNA gene expression to baseline values in the older rats prior to healing may contribute to their delayed union. (3) No genes were overly up-regulated in the older rats. The slower healing response of the older rats did not stimulate a negative-feedback increase in the mRNA expression of stimulatory cytokines.


Meyer RA,Meyer MH,Phieffer LS,Banks DM





Has Abstract


2001-01-01 00:00:00








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