Low-intensity pulsed ultrasound accelerates fracture healing by stimulation of recruitment of both local and circulating osteogenic progenitors.
ABSTRACT We investigated the effect of low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) on the homing of circulating osteogenic progenitors to the fracture site. Parabiotic animals were formed by surgically conjoining a green fluorescent protein (GFP) mouse and a syngeneic wild-type mouse. A transverse femoral fracture was made in the contralateral hind limb of the wild-type partner. The fracture site was exposed to daily LIPUS in the treatment group. Animals without LIPUS treatment served as the control group. Radiological assessment showed that the hard callus area was significantly greater in the LIPUS group than in the control group at 2 and 4 weeks post-fracture. Histomorphometric analysis at the fracture site showed a significant increase of GFP cells in the LIPUS group after 2 weeks (7.5%), compared to the control group (2.4%) (p < 0.05). The LIPUS group exhibited a significantly higher percentage of GFP cells expressing alkaline phosphatase (GFP/AP) than the control group at 2 weeks post-fracture (5.9%, 0.3%, respectively, p < 0.05). There was no significant difference in the percentage of GFP/AP cells between the LIPUS group (2.0%) and the control group (1.4%) at 4 weeks post-fracture. Stromal cell derived factor-1 and CXCR4 were immunohistochemically identified at the fracture site in the LIPUS group. These data indicate that LIPUS induced the homing of circulating osteogenic progenitors to the fracture site for possible contribution to new bone formation.
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ABSTRACT: Low intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) has been proven effective in promoting fracture healing but the underlying mechanisms are not fully depicted. We examined the effect of LIPUS on the recruitment of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and the pivotal role of stromal cell-derived factor-1/C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (SDF-1/CXCR4) pathway in response to LIPUS stimulation, which are essential factors in bone fracture healing. For in vitro study, isolated rat MSCs were divided into control or LIPUS group. LIPUS treatment was given 20 minutes/day at 37°C for 3 days. Control group received sham LIPUS treatment. After treatment, intracellular CXCR4 mRNA, SDF-1 mRNA and secreted SDF-1 protein levels were quantified, and MSCs migration was evaluated with or without blocking SDF-1/CXCR4 pathway by AMD3100. For in vivo study, fractured 8-week-old young rats received intracardiac administration of MSCs were assigned to LIPUS treatment, LIPUS+AMD3100 treatment or vehicle control group. The migration of transplanted MSC to the fracture site was investigated by ex vivo fluorescent imaging. SDF-1 protein levels at fracture site and in serum were examined. Fracture healing parameters, including callus morphology, micro-architecture of the callus and biomechanical properties of the healing bone were investigated. The in vitro results showed that LIPUS upregulated SDF-1 and CXCR4 expressions in MSCs, and elevated SDF-1 protein level in the conditioned medium. MSCs migration was promoted by LIPUS and partially inhibited by AMD3100. In vivo study demonstrated that LIPUS promoted MSCs migration to the fracture site, which was associated with an increase of local and serum SDF-1 level, the changes in callus formation, and the improvement of callus microarchitecture and mechanical properties; whereas the blockade of SDF-1/CXCR4 signaling attenuated the LIPUS effects on the fractured bones. These results suggested SDF-1 mediated MSCs migration might be one of the crucial mechanisms through which LIPUS exerted influence on fracture healing.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(9):e106722. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In vivo and in vitro studies have demonstrated the positive role that ultrasound can play in the enhancement of fracture healing or in the reactivation of a failed healing process. We review the several options available for the use of ultrasound in this context, either to induce a direct physical effect (LIPUS, shock waves), to deliver bioactive molecules such as growth factors, or to transfect cells with osteogenic plasmids; with a main focus on LIPUS (or Low Intensity Pulsed Ultrasound) as it is the most widespread and studied technique. The biological response to LIPUS is complex as numerous cell types respond to this stimulus involving several pathways. Known to-date mechanotransduction pathways involved in cell responses include MAPK and other kinases signaling pathways, gap-junctional intercellular communication, up-regulation and clustering of integrins, involvement of the COX-2/PGE2, iNOS/NO pathways and activation of ATI mechanoreceptor. The mechanisms by which ultrasound can trigger these effects remain intriguing. Possible mechanisms include direct and indirect mechanical effects like acoustic radiation force, acoustic streaming, and propagation of surface waves, fluid-flow induced circulation and redistribution of nutrients, oxygen and signaling molecules. Effects caused by the transformation of acoustic wave energy into heat can usually be neglected, but heating of the transducer may have a potential impact on the stimulation in some in-vitro systems, depending on the coupling conditions. Cavitation cannot occur at the pressure levels delivered by LIPUS. In-vitro studies, although not appropriate to identify the overall biological effects, are of great interest to study specific mechanisms of action. The diversity of current experimental set-ups however renders this analysis very complex, as phenomena such as transducer heating, inhomogeneities of the sound intensity in the near field, resonances in the transmission and reflection through the culture dish walls and the formation of standing waves will greatly affect the local type and amplitude of the stimulus exerted on the cells. A future engineering challenge is therefore the design of dedicated experimental set-ups, in which the different mechanical phenomena induced by ultrasound can be controlled. This is a prerequisite to evaluate the biological effects of the different phenomena with respect to particular parameters, like intensity, frequency, or duty cycle. By relating the variations of these parameters to the induced physical effects and to the biological responses, it will become possible to derive an 'acoustic dose' and propose a quantification and cross-calibration of the different experimental systems. Improvements in bone healing management will probably also come from a combination of ultrasound with a 'biologic' components, e.g. growth factors, scaffolds, gene therapies, or drug delivery vehicles, the effects of which being potentiated by the ultrasound.Ultrasonics 01/2014; · 2.03 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) has been used successfully to accelerate healing of fresh fractures and non-unions. It also improved callus maturation with distraction osteogenesis in animal trials. However, only few clinical studies are available to support its widespread use for the latter indication in humans. Twenty-one patients undergoing callus distraction for posttraumatic tibial defects were randomized into two groups: the trial group (12 men; mean age 32 years) which received 20 minutes LIPUS daily during treatment and the control group (six men and three women; mean age 29 years) without LIPUS treatment. The Ilizarov ring fixator was used in all cases. Results were examined clinically and radiologically, analysing callus maturation with a computer-assisted measurement. Patients in the LIPUS group needed a mean of 33 days to consolidate every 1 cm of new bone in comparison to 45 days in the control group. The healing index was therefore shortened by 12 days/cm in the LIPUS group. This means that callus maturation was 27 % faster in the LIPUS group. The fixator time was shortened by 95 days in the LIPUS group. The overall daily increase in radiographic callus density was 33 % more in the LIPUS group than in the control group. LIPUS treatment is an effective non-invasive adjuvant method to enhance callus maturation in distraction osteogenesis. With the help of this treatment, the healing time and the duration of external fixation can be reliably shortened.International Orthopaedics 01/2014; · 2.32 Impact Factor