Scientists at the University of Connecticut have found that a combination of two bone-healing drugs can interfere with bone growth and regeneration. The study is published in npj Regenerative Medicine .
In the elderly and diabetic, approximately 10% of long bone fractures do not heal well and require growth factors or other substances to fully regenerate.
In experiments on mice, scientists studied the effect of two growth factors: bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). BMP2 promotes bone mass growth and healing, while PDGF stimulates regeneration and the formation of new blood vessels.
The researchers found that PDGF slows down BMP2 when used together. At the same time, the number of cells involved in bone formation decreased, and the division of stem cells slowed down. In the end, the mice that took the combination of drugs did not heal as well as the mice that took BMP2 alone.
The scientists’ findings mean that more research is needed to understand how the two drugs can be combined.