The effect of simvastatin on bone formation and ceramic resorption in a peri-implant defect model

B. Ma, Susan Clarke, R.A. Brooks, N. Rushton

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Experimental use of statins as stimulators of bone formation suggests they may have widespread applicability in the field of orthopaedics. With their combined effects on osteoblasts and osteoclasts, statins have the potential to enhance resorption of synthetic materials and improve bone ingrowth. In this study, the effect of oral and local administration of simvastatin to a 0 tricalcium phosphate (beta TCP)-filled defect around an implant was compared with recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein 2 (rhBMP2). On hundred and sixty-two Sprague-Dawley rats were assigned to treatment groups: local application of 0.1, 0.9 or 1.7 mg of simvastatin, oral simvastatin at 5, 10 or 50 mg kg(-1) day(-1) for 20 days, local delivery of I or 10 mu g of rhBMP2, or control. At 6 weeks rhBMP2 increased serum tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase 5b levels and reduced PTCP area fraction, particle size and number compared with control, suggesting increased osteoclast activity. There was reduced stiffness and increased mechanical strength with this treatment. Local simvastatin resulted in a decreased mineral apposition rate at 6 weeks and increased fibrous area fraction, PTCP area fraction, particle size and number at 26 weeks. Oral simvastatin had no effect compared with control. Local application of rhBMP2 increased resorption and improved mechanical strength whereas simvastatin was detrimental to healing. Oral simvastatin was ineffective at promoting either ceramic resorption or bone formation. The effect of statins on the repair of bone defects with graft substitute materials is influenced by its bioavailability. Thus, further studies on the optimal delivery system are needed. (C) 2007 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-155
Number of pages7
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


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