Journal Article

No influence of alimentary zinc on the healing of calvarial defects filled with osteopromotive substances in rats

Leigh Jones, Jesper Skovhus Thomsen, Jette Barlach, Lis Mosekilde and Birte Melsen

in The European Journal of Orthodontics

Published on behalf of European Orthodontics Society

Volume 32, issue 2, pages 124-130
Published in print April 2010 | ISSN: 0141-5387
Published online January 2010 | e-ISSN: 1460-2210 | DOI:
No influence of alimentary zinc on the healing of calvarial defects filled with osteopromotive substances in rats

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Zinc has been demonstrated to play an important role in bone metabolism and is required for normal growth. However, no studies have investigated the influence of zinc on calvarial bone healing in aged or adult rats. The aim of the study was to evaluate whether alimentary zinc supplementation and depletion affect bone healing of calvarial defects implanted with osteopromotive substances in adult rats. Two 5 mm full thickness critical size bone defects were trephined in the central part of each parietal bone of 60 six-month-old male Wistar rats. The bone defects were filled with demineralized bone matrix (DBM), autogenous bone chips, or were left as unfilled controls. The rats were divided into three groups of 20 rats each and received a semi-synthetic diet containing 20, 60, or 120 mg zinc/kg. After 4 months, the biomechanical integrity of the healing defects was evaluated by a punch out test and the healed defects were examined with histomorphometry. Statistical analysis of the data was carried out by two-way analysis of variance and Wilcoxon's non-parametric signed rank test.

Biomechanical testing revealed that the maximum load was significantly higher in DBM-filled defects than in those filled with autogenous bone, and that the defects filled with autogenous bone were stronger than the unfilled controls. The biomechanical findings indicated that the alimentary zinc content did not influence the healing of calvarial defects. No significant difference in maximum load could be established between the three diet groups for any of the filling materials, whereas the highest zinc supplement resulted in an increase in the relative extension on mineralizing surfaces in the control group. Thus, healing of adult rat calvarial defects is not influenced by alimentary zinc supplementation or depletion. Defects filled with DBM were significantly stronger and exhibited significantly more new bone formation than defects filled with autogenous bone or unfilled controls.

Journal Article.  4169 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics

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