A number of clinical and experimental studies have investigated the effect of simvastatin on bone regeneration. In the present study, the release of simvastatin from simvastatin-loaded calcium sulphate (CS) scaffolds and the effect of these scaffolds on osteogenic differentiation of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in vitro and the effect of simvastatin locally applied from CS scaffolds on bone regeneration were investigated. A total of 26 complete 1.2-cm bone defects were created in the ulna of rabbits, which were treated with CS, simvastatin-loaded CS or recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein 2 (rhBMP)-2-loaded CS. Simvastatin was highly efficiently released from simvastatin-loaded CS at the onset and stable release was maintained. Alkaline phosphatase was highly expressed in the MSCs co-cultured with simvastatin/CS scaffolds for 7 and 14 days. The defects treated with rhBMP-2-loaded CS and simvastatin-loaded CS showed significantly higher X-ray analysis scores and a larger amount of bone formation as determined by histology compared with the CS group (P<0.05). No significant differences in the X-ray score and bone formation were observed between groups with rhBMP-2-loaded CS and simvastatin-loaded CS (P>0.05). Simvastatin is capable of promoting osteogenic differentiation of MSCs in vitro and stimulating bone regeneration when locally released from CS scaffolds into bone defects. The beneficial effect of simvastatin was similar to that of rhBMP-2. In conclusion, the present study suggested that the simvastatin-loaded CS scaffolds may have great potential in bone tissue engineering.
Huang, X., Huang, Z., & Li, W. (2014). Highly efficient release of simvastatin from simvastatin-loaded calcium sulphate scaffolds enhances segmental bone regeneration in rabbits. Molecular Medicine Reports, 9(6), 2152–2158. https://doi.org/10.3892/mmr.2014.2101