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Arch Oral Biol. 1999 Jan;44(1):41-8.

Differential activation by cytokines of mitogen-activated protein kinases in bovine temporomandibular-joint disc cells.

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New York University, College of Dentistry, NY 10010, USA. r/


Temporomandibular disorders affect a significant proportion of the population. While their aetiology is not well defined, recent histological studies suggest that the majority are similar to the osteoarthritis seen in other joints. Inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-1 and tumour necrosis factor-alpha appear to be important in the cascade of events leading to joint destruction in osteoarthritis. Here, cells from the disc of bovine temporomandibular joint were used to examine the response to various cytokines in vitro. Disc cells were stimulated with interleukin-1alpha, tumour necrosis factor-alpha, transforming growth factor-beta, platelet-derived growth factor, and basic fibroblast growth factor. Their effects were monitored by assessing the phosphorylation of selected signal-transduction intermediates using western blot. Mitogen-activated protein kinases (Erk 1, Erk 2) were rapidly phosphorylated by exposure to basic fibroblast growth factor, platelet-derived growth factor, and tumour necrosis factor-alpha, while interleukin-1alpha showed a weak response. Transforming growth factor-beta failed to activate these kinases. Examination of the effect of these cytokines on p38 (an intermediate in the stress-activated protein-kinase pathway) showed an increase in phosphorylated p38 when stimulated with tumour necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-1alpha. The amounts of phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 did not significantly increase when the cells were exposed to any of the cytokines.

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