Melatonin stimulates the growth of new bone around implants in the tibia of rabbits


Address reprint requests to José L. Calvo Guirado, Department of General Dentistry, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Murcia, Mozart 1, 1ºG, 30002. Murcia, Spain.


Abstract:  This study evaluated the effect of the topical application of melatonin in accelerating bone formation associated with implants 2 months after their application to the tibiae of rabbits. Twenty New Zealand rabbits were used. Twenty implants treated with melatonin and 20 control implants without melatonin were placed in the proximal metaphyseal area of each tibia. Studies of new bone formation were subsequently made at 15, 30, 45 and 60 days. Cortical width and cortical length of new bone formation were measured. Following implantation, an anteroposterior and lateral radiologic study was carried out. Collected samples were sectioned at 5 μm and stained using hematoxylin–eosin, Masson’s trichromic and Gordon-Switt reticulin stains. After a 60 day treatment period, melatonin increased the length of cortical bone (95.13 ± 0.42%) versus that around control implants (62.91 ± 1.45%). Related to the perimeter of cortical bone of the tibiae, melatonin induced new bone 88.35 ± 1.56% versus 60.20 ± 1.67% in the control implants. Melatonin regenerated the width and length of cortical bone around implants in tibiae of rabbits more quickly than around control implants without the addition of melatonin.