2016 Volume 37 Issue 2 Pages 141-151
We employed a well-standardized murine rib fracture model to assess the distribution, in the cortical bone, of three important osteocyte-derived molecules—dentine matrix protein 1 (DMP1), sclerostin and fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF 23). Two days after the fracture, the periosteum thickened, and up to the seventh day post-fracture, the cortical surfaces were promoting neoformation of two tissue types depending on the distance from the fracture site: chondrogenesis was taking place near the fracture, and osteogenesis distant from it. The cortical bones supporting chondrogenesis featured several empty lacunae, while in the ones underlying newly-formed woven bone, empty lacunae were hardly seen. DMP1-immunopositive osteocytic lacunae and canaliculi were seen both close and away from the fracture. In contrast, the region close to the fracture had only few sclerostin- and FGF23-immunoreactive osteocytes, whereas the distant region revealed many osteocytes immunopositive for these markers. Mature cortical bone encompassing the native cortical bone was observed at two-, three- and four-weeks post-fracture, and the distribution of DMP1, sclerostin and FGF23 appeared to have returned to normal. In summary, early stages of fracture healing seem to be important for triggering chondrogenesis and osteogenesis that may be regulated by osteocytes via their secretory molecules.