The innate osteogenic potential of the maxillary sinus (Schneiderian) membrane: An ectopic tissue transplant model simulating sinus lifting

S. Srouji, D. Ben-David, R. Lotan, M. Riminucci, E. Livne, P. Bianco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


Maxillary sinus membrane lifting is a common procedure aimed at increasing the volume of the maxillary sinus osseous floor prior to inserting dental implants. Clinical observations of bone formation in sinus lifting procedures without grafting bone substitutes were observed, but the biological nature of bone regeneration in sinus lifting procedures is unclear. This study tested whether this osteogenic activity relies on inherent osteogenic capacity residing in the sinus membrane by simulating the in vivo clinical condition of sinus lifting in an animal model. Maxillary sinus membrane cells were cultured in α-MEM medium containing osteogenic supplements (ascorbic acid, dexamethasone). Cultured cells revealed alkaline phosphatase activity and mRNA expression of osteogenic markers (alkaline phosphatase, bone sialoprotein, osteocalcin and osteonectin) verifying the osteogenic potential of the cells. Fresh tissue samples demonstrated positive alkaline phosphatase enzyme activity situated along the membrane-bone interface periosteum-like layer. To simulate the in vivo clinical conditions, the membranes were folded to form a pocket-like structure and were transplanted subcutaneously in immunodeficient mice for 8 weeks. New bone formation was observed in the transplants indicating the innate osteogenic potential within the maxillary Schneiderian sinus membrane and its possible contribution to bone regeneration in sinus lifting procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)793-801
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to acknowledge EU Genostem grant No. 2003522 for supporting this study.


  • Alkaline phosphatase
  • Osteoprogenitors
  • Sinus lifting
  • Sinus membrane


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