Direct delayed human adenoviral BMP-2 or BMP-6 gene therapy for bone and cartilage regeneration in a pony osteochondral model

M. I. Menendez, D. J. Clark, M. Carlton, D. C. Flanigan, G. Jia, S. Sammet, S. E. Weisbrode, M. V. Knopp, A. L. Bertone

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59 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate healing of surgically created large osteochondral defects in a weight-bearing femoral condyle in response to delayed percutaneous direct injection of adenoviral (Ad) vectors containing coding regions for either human bone morphogenetic proteins 2 (BMP-2) or -6. Methods: Four 13. mm diameter and 7. mm depth circular osteochondral defects were drilled, 1/femoral condyle (n= 20 defects in five ponies). At 2 weeks, Ad-BMP-2, Ad-BMP-6, Ad-green fluorescent protein (GFP), or saline was percutaneously injected into the central drill hole of the defect. Quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (qMRI) and computed tomography (CT) were serially performed at 12, 24, and 52 weeks. At 12 (one pony) or 52 weeks, histomorphometry and microtomographic analyses were performed to assess subchondral bone and cartilage repair tissue quality. Results: Direct delivery of Ad-BMP-6 demonstrated delayed gadolinium-enhanced MRI of cartilage (dGEMRIC) and histologic evidence of greater Glycosaminoglycan (GAG) content in repair tissue at 12 weeks, while Ad-BMP-2 had greater non-mineral cartilage at the surface at 52 weeks (p< 0.04). Ad-BMP-2 demonstrated greater CT subchondral bone mineral density (BMD) by 12 weeks and both Ad-BMP-2 and -6 had greater subchondral BMD at 52 weeks (p< 0.05). Despite earlier (Ad-BMP-6) and more persistent (Ad-BMP-2) chondral tissue and greater subchondral bone density (Ad-BMP-2 and -6), the tissue within the large weight-bearing defects at 52 weeks was suboptimal in all groups due to poor quality repair cartilage, central fibrocartilage retention, and central bone cavitation. Delivery of either BMP by this method had greater frequency of subchondral bone cystic formation (p< 0.05). Conclusions: Delivery of Ad-BMP-2 or Ad-BMP-6 via direct injection supported cartilage and subchondral bone regeneration but was insufficient to provide long-term quality osteochondral repair.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1066-1075
Number of pages10
JournalOsteoarthritis and Cartilage
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • Bone morphogenetic protein
  • Cartilage healing
  • Computed tomography
  • Gene delivery
  • Magnetic resonance imaging


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