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J Dent Res. 2012 May;91(5):499-505. doi: 10.1177/0022034512441946. Epub 2012 Mar 15.

Sustained inflammation induces degeneration of the temporomandibular joint.

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  • 1Department of Orthodontics, Peking University School & Hospital of Stomatology, 22# Zhongguancun South Ave., Beijing, China.

Abstract

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) undergoes degenerative changes among patients who suffer from arthritis, and yet the pathogenesis of TMJ osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis is poorly understood. We hypothesized that sustained inflammation in the TMJ induces structural abnormalities, and accordingly characterized the disc and synovium in a novel model with double injections of complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA), using behavioral, morphological, cellular, and molecular assessments. Thirty-five days following double CFA injections in seven-week-old female Sprague-Dawley rats, the disc in the CFA-induced inflammation group demonstrated multiple degenerative changes, including marked thickening, opacity, and deformation. The discs in the CFA group further showed significantly greater wet and net weights, and elevated collagen, aggrecan, and total glycosaminoglycan contents. The synovium in the CFA-induced inflammation group showed marked infiltration of mononucleated cells and accumulated sub-synovial adipose tissue. Both the disc and synovium had significantly higher iNOS and IL-1β mRNA expression than controls (saline injections). These findings are consistent with our hypothesis that sustained TMJ inflammation, even within the presently observed 35 days, may be a predisposing factor for structural abnormalities. Insight into TMJ inflammation and degeneration is anticipated to improve our understanding of the pathogenesis of TMJ arthritis and help design clinically relevant strategies for tissue engineering.

PMID:
22427270
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3327731
Free PMC Article
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