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J Dent Res. 2011 Nov;90(11):1339-45. doi: 10.1177/0022034511420430. Epub 2011 Sep 15.

A role of oral bacteria in bisphosphonate-induced osteonecrosis of the jaw.

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Department of Immunology, The Forsyth Institute, 245 1 St., Cambridge, MA 02142, USA.


No consensus has yet been reached to associate oral bacteria conclusively with the etio-pathogenesis of bisphosphonate-induced osteonecrosis of the jaw (BONJ). Therefore, the present study examined the effects of oral bacteria on the development of BONJ-like lesions in a mouse model. In the pamidronate (Pam)-treated mice, but not control non-drug-treated mice, tooth extraction followed by oral infection with Fusobacterium nucleatum caused BONJ-like lesions and delayed epithelial healing, both of which were completely suppressed by a broad-spectrum antibiotic cocktail. Furthermore, in both in vitro and in vivo experiments, the combination of Pam and Fusobacterium nucleatum caused the death of gingival fibroblasts (GFs) and down-regulated their production of keratinocyte growth factor (KGF), which induces epithelial cell growth and migration. Therefore, in periodontal tissues pre-exposed to bisphosphonate, bacterial infection at tooth extraction sites caused diminished KGF expression in GFs, leading to a delay in the epithelial wound-healing process that was mitigated by antibiotics.

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