Effects of locally administered insulin on bone formation in non-diabetic rats


  • How to cite this article: Malekzadeh B, Tengvall P, Öhrnell L-O, Wennerberg A, Westerlund A. 2013. Effects of locally administered insulin on bone formation in non-diabetic rats. J Biomed Mater Res Part A 2013:101A:132–137.


The possibility to control bone formation would be favorable in many areas of medicine, where bone defects is still a major challenge. Insulin has been suggested to exert both systemic and local anabolic effects in bone tissues. This raised the question whether locally administrated insulin could provide new therapeutic strategies for patients with local bone defects and impaired bone healing. The aim of this study was to evaluate bone formation in non-diabetic rats when local insulin is administered. This study differs from previous reports in two aspects: the use of non-diabetic animals and locally administered insulin. Twenty-four implants were inserted into 12 rats—one insulin-coated and one control—in each tibia for four weeks. Interferometry and histomorphometry were used to evaluate the surface topography and bone formation, respectively. Results demonstrated no significant changes in surface topography after insulin immobilization. Histomorphometry revealed significantly more bone around the insulin-coated implants (BA) (p = 0.005) and a similar amount of bone at the implant surface (BIC) (p = 0.117) compared with the controls. It was concluded that locally administered insulin from a titanium implant surface has the potential to increase bone formation not only in diabetic subjects but also in non-diabetic subjects. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 101A:132–137, 2013.