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    Distraction osteogenesis (DO) is a bone regeneration technique used to treat maxillofacial disorders, fracture nonunion, and large bone defects. It is well known for its amazing regenerative potential, but an extended consolidation period limits its clinical use. The interaction between the nervous system and bone regeneration has attracted great attention in recent years. Sema3A is a key axonal chemorepellent which has been proved to have bone-protective effects. In this article, we try to improve DO by local administration of Sema3A and explore the possible mechanisms. Forty wildtype, male, adult mice were divided into two groups after tibia osteotomy surgery. Sema3A or Saline was daily injected transcutaneous into the center of the distraction zone during the consolidation period. Micro-CT images were taken at 4, 6,8 and 10 weeks post-surgery; vascular density and biomechanical testing were performed at 10 weeks post-surgery. We also set up in vitro vessel growth assay to evaluate the effect of Sema3A on angiogenesis. Compared with the Saline group, Sema3A treatment significantly accelerated bone regeneration, improved angiogenesis and callus' biomechanical strength. At 10 weeks post-surgery, compared with the Saline group, the BV/TV, BMD, TMD increased by about 23%, 22%, 18% respectively, vascular density increased by about 49% in the Sema3A group. Histological images and western-blot showed decreased expression of VEGF-A and increased expression of Ang-1 at 4 weeks post-surgery in the Sema3A group. In vitro, Sema3A suppressed VEGF-induced angiogenesis but had little effect on Ang-induced angiogenesis. Conclusion: Sema3A could accelerate bone regeneration and improve angiogenesis during DO.


    Nian Zhang, Yunwei Hua, Yunfeng Li, Jian Pan. Sema3A accelerates bone formation during distraction osteogenesis in mice. Connective tissue research. 2022 Jul;63(4):382-392

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    PMID: 34486459

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