Chronic alcohol consumption is associated with pathological effects on bone, and it is correlated with the increasing risk of osteoporosis and fractures. The negative effects of alcohol intake also influence bone repair processes and the osseointegration of implants. The aim of the present in vitro study was to investigate the proliferation and synthetic activity of osteoblasts isolated from the trabecular bone of rats previously exposed to 7-week intermittent exposure to ethanol vapour (EE-OB), and sham-aged rats (SA-OB), when cultured on standard commercially pure Ti (cpTi). Osteoblast proliferation (WST-1), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), osteocalcin (OC), collagen type I (CICP), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) were measured at 1, 7, and 14 days of culture. Our results showed a decrease in the cell viability and synthetic activity of osteoblasts exposed to ethanol when cultured on cpTi. Moreover, the release of local regulatory factors from osteoblasts was imbalanced: TGF-β1 production was reduced and TNF-α and IL-6 were up-regulated. These in vitro data suggest that alcohol abuse affects bone repair and decreases the ability to form bone around standard cpTi. Innovative surfaces and adjuvant therapies could be useful when implants are required in alcoholics.
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