Bone tissue displays a remarkable regenerative potential, however, in some clinical situations, the extent of the bone defects surpass this regeneration capacity demanding additional treatments. Cell therapy has been recognized as a good alternative but it is in need of deep investigation before becoming an effective treatment to regenerate bone defects. The aim of this study is to assess the potential of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) in bone regeneration. BM-MSCs will be harvested from rat femurs, cultured and expanded before being directly injected into 5-mm rat calvarial defects as follow: one injection 2 weeks after defect creation an two injections, 2 and 6 weeks, respectively, after defect creation. Controls will be bone defects treated with 1 or 2 injections of the vehicle (PBS) without cells. Following 8 weeks from the first injection, the animals will be euthanized and bone tissue formation evaluated by microtomography and histological analyses. Data will be evaluated by adherence to the normal distribution before determining the suitable estatistic test.
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