An immunoelectron microscopic localization of noncollagenous bone proteins (osteocalcin and osteopontin) at the bone-titanium interface of rat tibiae

Yasunori Ayukawa, Fumitaka Takeshita, Takashi Inoue, Masao Yoshinari, Masaki Shimono, Tsuneo Suetsugu, Teruo Tanaka

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Abstract

This study was designed to investigate by postembedding immunogold method the localization and distribution of osteocalcin (Ocl) and osteopontin (Opn) at the bone-titanium interface in rat tibiae 14 and 28 days postimplantation to determine which bone proteins are present at this interface. Both proteins were widely distributed on the newly formed bone and accumulated predominantly in the region of bone close to the titanium, in electron-dense patches in the bone, and at the osteocytic lacunae. Collagenous osteoid showed little or no labeling for either Ocl or Opn. An amorphous zone (20-50 nm) was interposed between the titanium and interfacial slender cells, osteoid, or bone, and was labeled strongly for Ocl but only weakly for Opn. Furthermore, a second electron-dense layer, the lamina limitans, which faces the titanium, was labeled strongly for Opn but weakly for Ocl. Ocl as a marker protein of osteoblasts was sometimes found in the granules and vesicles of the interfacial cells and extracellularly in their intercellular spaces, close to the titanium. However, Opn was not detected in any granules. This is the first report to show that the amorphous zone contains large amounts of Ocl and small amounts of Opn, and that bone contacts titanium through this Ocl-rich amorphous zone. Furthermore, it is suggested that the interfacial cells seem to be osteoblasts, and that Ocl in the amorphous zone is produced and secreted by these cells and functions with Opn as a regulator of the mineralization front close to the titanium, and as a mediator of cell-matrix and matrix-matrix/mineral adhesion along the titanium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-119
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research
Volume41
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering

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