Phosphatidylserine (PS)―normally present on the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane― translocates to the outer leaflet at an early stage of apoptosis. PS-containing liposomes (PSLs) can mimic the effect of apoptotic cells in inducing the secretion of prostaglandin E2 from phagocytes and inhibiting the maturation of dendritic cells and osteoclast precursors. The present study attempted to evaluate the effect of calcium phosphate (in the form of hydroxyapatite [HAP]) in the presence or absence of PSLs for repair of rat calvarial bone defects. The defects, each 5 mm in diameter, were created in the calvaria parietal bone of 8-week-old Wistar rats and subjected to one of the following treatments: no augmentation (Sham), HAP alone, or a mixture of HAP and PSL (HAP+PSL). Micro-computed tomography data showed that the HAP+PSL complexes promoted greater bone regeneration in comparison with either the Sham procedure or HAP alone at 4 and 8 weeks after implantation. The regeneration of calvarial bone defects induced by PSLs was mediated partly through upregulation of the osteogenic marker Alkaline Phosphatase, Type I collagen, osteocalcin, Runx2, and Osterix mRNAs. These data are the first to show that PSLs can influence bone regeneration by regulating osteoblast differentiation.
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