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J Oral Rehabil. 2001 Mar;28(3):294-8.

Histological study of rat masseter muscle following experimental occlusal alteration.

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Department of Stomatology, Tatsunokuchi Houju Memorial General Hospital, Midorigaoka, Tatsunokuchi, Ishikawa-Pref, Japan.


It has been suggested that occlusal interference results in masticatory muscle dysfunction. In our previous study, occlusal interference reduced the rat masseter energy level during masticatory movements. The purpose of this study was to investigate the histological alterations of rat masseter muscles following experimental occlusal alteration with unilateral bite-raising. A total of eight male adult Wistar rats were equally divided into control and experimental groups. The experimental rats wore bite-raising splints on the unilateral upper molar. However, 4 weeks after the operation, the anterior deep masseter muscles were removed and then stained for succinic acid dehydrogenase (SDH), haematoxylin eosin (HE) and myofibrillar ATPase. Most of the muscle fibres in experimental rats remained intact, although partial histological changes were observed, such as extended connective tissue, appearance of inflammatory cells in the muscle fibres and existence of muscle fibres with central nuclei and central cores. Moreover, the fibre area-fibre frequency histograms of experimental muscle indicated a broad pattern than that of controls. These results indicated that occlusal interference caused histological changes in masseter muscles and that this may be related to the fact that the masseter energy level was reduced during masticatory movements in unilateral bite-raised rats.

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