Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a major potential complication following orthopaedic surgery. Subcutaneously administered enoxaparin has been used as the benchmark to reduce the incidence of VTE. However, concerns have been raised regarding the long-term administration of enoxaparin and its possible negative effects on bone healing and bone density with an increase of the risk of osteoporotic fractures. New oral anticoagulants such as rivaroxaban have recently been introduced, however, there is a lack of information regarding how these drugs affect bone metabolism and post-operative bone healing.
We measured the migration and proliferation capacity of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) under enoxaparin or rivaroxaban treatment for three consecutive weeks, and evaluated effects on MSC mRNA expression of markers for stress and osteogenic differentiation.
We demonstrate that enoxaparin, but not rivaroxaban, increases the migration potential of MSCs and increases their cell count in line with elevated mRNA expression of C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), and alpha-B-crystallin (CryaB). However, a decrease in early osteogenic markers (insulin-like growth factors 1 and 2 (IGF1, IGF2), bone morphogenetic protein2 (BMP2)) indicated inhibitory effects on MSC differentiation into osteoblasts caused by enoxaparin, but not by rivaroxaban.
Our findings may explain the adverse effects of enoxaparin treatment on bone healing. Rivaroxaban has no significant impact on MSC metabolism or capacity for osteogenic differentiation in vitro.
Cite this article: Dr H. Pilge. Enoxaparin and rivaroxaban have different effects on human mesenchymal stromal cells in the early stages of bone healing. Bone Joint Res 2016;5:95–100. DOI: 10.1302/2046-3758.53.2000595.