Angiogenesis and growth of isografted bone: quantitative in vivo assay in nude mice.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


Understanding the regulation of vascularization and formation of bone after skeletal trauma is essential for the development of methods to promote healing. The lack of information on the biology of bone healing led us to establish an experimental model that facilitates the in vivo assessment of angiogenesis and growth of bone.

Experimental design

Fresh, cryopreserved (frozen in the presence or absence of 10% dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO)) or boiled neonatal femora were transplanted into dorsal skin fold chambers in adult mice of the identical strain, and angiogenesis and growth were monitored over 16 days. Computerized analysis of brightfield and epifluorescence images was employed to characterize the process of angiogenesis. Bone formation was quantified in vivo by the use of oxytetracycline.


Reperfusion of pre-existing blood vessels of the graft was observed only in fresh transplanted femora, whereas femora of all experimental groups elicited angiogenic response from the host tissue. The rank order of the angiogenic response was: fresh > cryopreservation with DMSO > cryopreservation without DMSO > boiled. Growth of femora was completely abolished after cryopreservation or boiling. Only fresh transplanted femora increased in length (95 microns/day) and in cartilage diameter (41 microns/day).


Our study demonstrates that (a) angiogenesis and growth of transplanted femora can be chronically assessed using in vivo microscopy; (b) the introduction of oxytetracycline for in vivo fluorescence microscopy allows the differential quantification of bone and cartilage growth; and (c) cryoprotection using DMSO enhances restoration of angiogenic potency after freezing. We consider this assay an excellent experimental model to study in vivo effects of agents or procedures that potentially modulate angiogenesis and growth of bone.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Leunig, M; Yuan, F; Berk, DA; Gerweck, LE; Jain, RK

Published Date

  • August 1994

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 71 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 300 - 307

PubMed ID

  • 7521447

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1530-0307

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0023-6837


  • eng