Objectives: Aim of this study is to evaluate the neo-angiogenic response of host tissue towards two different bone grafts: Homologous Iliac Crest Graft (HG) and Autologous Calvaria Graft (AG), by typical ECM molecules expression.
Methods: HG and AG were used as grafting materials in patients requiring bone regeneration for following implant supported prosthesis. Specimens were withdrawn at the moment of implant insertion, 4 months after grafting. Immunohistochemical analysis (DAB staining method) was performed to evaluate the expression of MMP2, MMP9, and VEGF. ANOVA statistic method was used to evaluate differences in molecules expression.
Results: Clinically both HG and AG grafts appeared clinically integrated with the host tissue, indicating they can be successfully used as graft in regenerative techniques. Otherwise the expression of molecules specifically involved in neo-angiogenesis slightly differs from each other: MMP2 level of expression was statistically higher in HG, while values obtained from MMP9 and VEGF analysis resulted higher in AG than in HG.
Conclusions: A greater activity could be noticed in AG graft than in HG, 4 months after grafting, as statistically supported. Moreover, as MMP2 is mostly involved in the initial phases of neo-angiogenesis, while MMP9 and VEGF are enrolled in supporting endothelium, it could be hypothesized that, at the same experimental time point, the regenerative processes proceed more quickly in site regenerated with autologous bone than in that treated with homologous bone graft.
Conflict of interest: None declared.