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J Dent Res. 2003 Sep;82(9):731-5.

A repetitive, steady mouth opening induced an osteoarthritis-like lesion in the rabbit temporomandibular joint.

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  • 1Oral and Maxillofacial Rehabilitation, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine and Dentistry, Okayama, Japan.


Although excessive mechanical stress is assumed to be one of the factors contributing to pathogenesis of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) osteoarthritis (OA), no pure mechanical-stress-induced OA model has been developed without surgical manipulation or puncture of the joint cavity. The purpose of this study was to establish a genuine mechanical-stress-induced OA model of the rabbit TMJ. In the experimental rabbits, repetitive, forced jaw-opening, 3 hrs/day for 5 days, was applied with the use of a general anesthesia protocol. By histological assessment of the TMJ articular tissues, partial eburnation of the articular cartilage, reactive marginal proliferation of the articular cartilage chondrocytes, and nested proliferation of chondrocytes in the subchondral bone area were observed at 7 days after the repetitive, forced-jaw-opening period. These results suggest that the repetitive, forced-jaw-opening protocol without surgical intervention can induce evident OA-like lesions in the rabbit TMJ, and this OA model may greatly contribute to the elucidation of the cartilage degradation mechanism in TMJ OA.

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