The activity and the distribution of osteogenic cells around octacalcium phosphate (OCP) granules combined with gelatin matrix (OCP/Gel) onlaid on rat calvaria were analyzed histomorphometrically and immunohistochemically during vertical bone augmentation under mechanical or nonmechanical environment until 8 weeks. OCP/Gel disk was placed in subperiosteal pocket on the calvaria with or without polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) support. The latter is a nonmechanical stress model to alleviate the mechanical stress from the subcutaneous tissues. Onlay grafts of gelatin (Gel) sponge disk and OCP granules were also carried out for the comparison purpose. When bone augmentation was evaluated in first area from bone surface (area until 150 μm high from bone surface) and second area above the newly formed bone (area until 150 µm high from the first area), bone formation was enhanced most in first area followed by second area of OCP/Gel with PTFE. The appearance of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP)-positive osteoclast-like cells was suppressed more in the newly formed tissue with PTFE than those without PTFE with an emphasis of the presence of gelatin. Although Runx2 positive-cells were accumulated more in both OCP/Gel with and without PTFE, osteocalcin-positive cells were abundant in OCP/Gel with PTFE than that without PTFE, suggesting that nonmechanical stress condition is more suitable for osteoblast differentiation. The appearance of receptor activator of nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB ligand (RANKL)-positive cells was restrained in OCP/Gel and Gel with PTFE while osteoprotegerin-positive cells were most accumulated in OCP/Gel without PTFE. The results suggest that OCP/Gel composite under the mechanical stress-alleviated condition can enhance bone augmentation through balanced osteoblastic and osteoclastic cellular activities.
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