In this study, we examined histologically the effect of a bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) derived from bovine tooth on the periosteum. Supraperiosteal injection of crude BMP into femurs of Wistar rats (28 day old) resulted in periosteal cell proliferation with subsequent bone and cartilage formation. Moreover, proliferating periosteal cells migrated into injected BMP, and formed both cartilage and bone. These observations show that exogenous BMP stimulates mesenchymal cells of the periosteum to proliferate and differentiate into osteoblasts, and therefore BMP may be one of factors which are involved in differentiation of osteoblasts in the periosteum.
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