Early onset scoliosis (EOS) leads to severe, progressive three dimensional deformity of the spine in growing children, which is corrected either by external bracing or surgical placement of rods adjacent to the spine. Mice deficient in signaling through the type three fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR3-/-) develop scoliosis by four weeks, which worsens progressively with age. The mice therefore represent a unique resource to investigate biologic non-surgical treatments to slow the progression of spine curvature. To determine if curve progression can be prevented we will implant pellets with bone active growth factors that promote proliferation and inhibit cell death adjacent to the curve and leave the mice to mature. Curve progression will be assessed by periodic X-rays, the quality of vertebral bone with computed tomography, and molecular composition of vertebra and intervertebral discs with biochemical analyses. Identification of a potential therapeutic approach to correct scoliosis is of obvious interest to our partner DePuy Spine.
Neil Saran, Janet E. Henderson, Lisbet Haglund
Chan Gao, Bashar Alkhatib
Johnson & Johnson Inc. Canada
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