Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) is a polypeptide growth factor considered to have a role in the proliferation and migration of fibroblasts at a wound healing site. The aim of this investigation was to determine if PDGF, when applied to root surfaces, would stimulate the proliferation of fibroblasts and further enhance regeneration. Six mongrel dogs with healthy periodontia were selected for this study. Using a closed wound surgical model, standardized 4 x 4 mm fenestration defects were created into dentin on the mid-facial of the mesial and distal roots of 4 mandibular posterior teeth in each quadrant. Each defect received either: 1) saline solution (C); 2) expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) membrane; 3) PDGF; or 4) ePTFE + PDGF. 3H-thymidine was administered 1 hour prior to animal sacrifice at 1, 3, and 7 days postsurgery. Each time period included 2 dogs with each dog undergoing the four different treatments. Slides were prepared for autoradiography. 3H-thymidine-labeled cells were counted and results were statistically analyzed using the Bonferroni (Dunn) t test on the SAS program. Results indicated PDGF enhanced fibroblast proliferation when compared to the groups without PDGF. Significant differences (P < 0.05) were noted at day 1 and 7 when PDGF and PDGF + GT were compared to C and GT groups. No significant differences were observed in labeled fibroblasts between the C and GT groups at any time period. These findings suggest that PDGF enhances fibroblast proliferation in early periodontal wound healing, whether used alone or in combination with the ePTFE membrane.
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