Study shows possible way to regenerate bones using messenger RNA
Researchers at Mayo Clinic, US found that messenger RNA could be used at low doses to regenerate bones without side effects.
Researchers at Mayo Clinic, US along with colleagues in the Netherlands and Germany, may have found a less risky alternative to regenerate bone using messenger RNA (mRNA). Previous methods to regenerate the bone included human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2). However, this is expensive and only somewhat effective and it can also produce serious side effects.
The researchers used rats, as outlined in Science Advances, to show that mRNA can be used at low doses to regenerate bone without side effects. Additionally, the quality of the new bone was found to be superior to bone formed by BMP-2. The researchers also said that messenger RNA is a better choice for bone regeneration because it may not need repeat doses. Findings also showed the new tissue growth that occurred after applying mRNA was biomechanically superior to the alternative method and remained so throughout eight weeks of monitoring.
Human bone develops in one of two ways: direct formation of bone cells from mesenchymal progenitor cells or through endochondral ossification, in which cartilage forms first and then coverts to bone. The BMP-2 therapy uses the former method and the mRNA approach uses the latter. In general, the researchers say their work proves that this method “can heal large, critical-sized, segmental osseous defects of long bones in a superior fashion to its recombinant protein counterpart.”
The researchers say these findings in rats are limited and studies are needed in large animals before any translation can be considered for clinical trials.