Inhibition of sclerostin by monoclonal antibody enhances bone healing and improves bone density and strength of nonfractured bones

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  • Parts of the article were presented at the 31st Annual Meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, Denver, CO, September 11–15, 2009, and the IOF World Congress on Osteoporosis & 10th European Congress on Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis, Florence, Italy, May 5–8, 2010.

Abstract

Therapeutic enhancement of fracture healing would help to prevent the occurrence of orthopedic complications such as nonunion and revision surgery. Sclerostin is a negative regulator of bone formation, and treatment with a sclerostin monoclonal antibody (Scl-Ab) results in increased bone formation and bone mass in animal models. Our objective was to investigate the effects of systemic administration of Scl-Ab in two models of fracture healing. In both a closed femoral fracture model in rats and a fibular osteotomy model in cynomolgus monkeys, Scl-Ab significantly increased bone mass and bone strength at the site of fracture. After 10 weeks of healing in nonhuman primates, the fractures in the Scl-Ab group had less callus cartilage and smaller fracture gaps containing more bone and less fibrovascular tissue. These improvements at the fracture site corresponded with improvements in bone formation, bone mass, and bone strength at nonfractured cortical and trabecular sites in both studies. Thus the potent anabolic activity of Scl-Ab throughout the skeleton also was associated with an anabolic effect at the site of fracture. These results support the potential for systemic Scl-Ab administration to enhance fracture healing in patients. © 2011 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.

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