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Eur J Orthod. 2004 Apr;26(2):137-41.

Neovascularization and bone formation in the condyle during stepwise mandibular advancement.

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  • 1Orthodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, The University of Hong Kong, SAR, China.


The aims of this investigation were to identify the temporal expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the mandibular condyle and to correlate it with the pattern of new bone formation during stepwise mandibular advancement. Two hundred and fifty female, 35-day-old Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into 10 groups, with 10 rats allocated to the single-step bite-jumping subgroup, 10 rats to the stepwise advancement subgroup and five rats to the control subgroup. In the experimental groups, the mandibles were kept in a continuous forward position. The initial stepwise advancement commenced on day 35, whereas the second advancement started on day 65. The rats were sacrificed on experimental days 3, 7, 14, 21, 30, 33, 37, 44, 51 and 60. Sections (7 microm) were cut through the condyle in the parasagittal plane and stained with anti-VEGF antibody. Each section was counter-stained with haematoxylin for observation of the cellular response. The sections were digitized and quantitatively analysed with a computer-assisted image analysing system. The results showed that the initial advancement in the stepwise group led to significantly less expression of VEGF when compared with single advancement. However, the second advancement on day 30 resulted in a significant increase in VEGF expression when compared with the one-step group and the natural growth control group. Thus, it was concluded that changes in the amplitude of mechanical loading, produced by stepwise advancement, have a significant effect on the production of VEGF by the chondrocytes. During the later stages of advancement, more VEGF and more condylar bone was produced.

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