Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) play important roles in the stimulation of osteogenesis and osteoinduction during bone fracture healing and their expression levels may be important for bone graft efficacy. The objective of this study was to determine if there are variations in the expression of BMPs and their receptors in various bone graft harvesting sites. We analyzed autogenous marrow aspirates obtained from three different graft sites for the mRNA levels of BMPs and their receptors.
Using real-time polymerase chain reaction, we analyzed the mRNA levels of BMPs and their receptors in autogenous bone marrow aspirates obtained from three different bone graft sites of 10 different human subjects. Collection of autogenous bone marrow from the iliac crest, the proximal humerus, and the proximal tibia was performed using standard sterile techniques in the operating room as part of surgery to treat an established fracture nonunion.
The mRNA levels of BMP-2 and BMP-5 were the highest in the bone marrow aspirates from the three different sites, whereas the mRNA levels of the other osteoinductive BMPs (BMP-4, -5, -6, -7, -8, and -9) were lower. The mRNA levels of BMP-3, an inhibitor of osteogenesis, were the lowest in the bone marrow aspirates of all three different sites. There were no statistical significant differences in the mRNA levels of any of the BMPs or their receptors investigated in this study in the bone marrow of the three different sites.
Because no statistical significant differences in the mRNA levels of the BMPs and their receptors were detected in the bone marrow aspirates from the three different sites, our findings suggest that potential differences of various graft sites in the augmentation of bone healing does not result from different expression levels of BMPs.