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J Endod. 2007 Sep;33(9):1053-6. Epub 2007 Jun 15.

The effect of estrogen deficiency on receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B ligand and osteoprotegerin synthesis in periapical lesions induced in rats.

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  • 1School and Hospital of Stomatology, Tongji University, Shanghai City, P. R. China.


The aim of this research was to study the effects of estrogen deficiency on the receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B ligand (RANKL) and osteoprotegerin (OPG) synthesis in the periapical lesions that were induced in ovariectomized (OVX) and sham-ovariectomized (Sham) rats. After mandibles were collected, the enzyme histochemical test for tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase and immunohistochemical examination for RANKL and OPG were performed. On days 0, 7, and 28, the numbers of osteoclasts in the periapical areas of the OVX rats were significantly more than those of the Sham group. The data had statistical differences on days 7, 21, and 28 for RANKL-positive cells between the 2 groups. The number of OPG-positive cells of the OVX rats was more than that of the Sham group at the early stage of estrogen deficiency (day 7). Estrogen deficiency-induced severe periapical bone resorption might be mediated by overexpression of RANKL. At the early stage of estrogen deficiency, the osteoblastogenesis was also accelerated, which was shown as a kind of reactive protective response.

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