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Osteoinduction by repeat plasmid injection of human bone morphogenetic protein-2




Bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) is an osteoinductive protein and is considered useful for the treatment of skeletal disorders. Previous studies using BMP-2 in clinical applications have encountered difficulties, including the lack of an efficient, safe, inexpensive and simple delivery system. The gene transfer approach is a promising option for utilizing BMP-2. Although viral vector-mediated gene transfer is efficient, safety concerns prevent its clinical application for common diseases. On the other hand, plasmid-based gene transfer is a safe method and can be harnessed for practical applications.


A plasmid encoding human BMP-2 (pCAGGS-BMP-2) was used and injected repeatedly (one to eight times) into the skeletal muscle of mice at a divided dose. We compared the capability of osteoinduction in the skeletal muscle of mice after gene transfer by repeat injection. BMP-2 production was assessed via immunohistochemistry, and osteoinduction was evaluated using radiography, histology and biochemical assays.


The BMP-2 gene was transferred into the skeletal muscle of mice by repeat injection using pCAGGS-BMP-2. Mature bone was frequently observed in mice injected repeatedly with pCAGGS-BMP-2 at a divided dose. This confirms that, if the total dose is fixed, repeat injection with pCAGGS-BMP-2 at a divided dose causes osteoinduction more frequently in the skeletal muscle of mice.


These results suggest the possibility of the effective clinical use of human BMP-2 gene therapy by direct DNA injection, and facilitate the clinical application of BMP-2 gene therapy. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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