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Oral Dis. 2014 Jul;20(5):466-72. doi: 10.1111/odi.12154. Epub 2013 Jul 10.

Alendronate impairs epithelial adhesion, differentiation and proliferation in human oral mucosa.

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1
Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche per la Salute, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study aimed at evaluating from a morphological point of view the effects of alendronate (ALN), a widely used nitrogen-containing bisphosphonate for the chronic treatment of osteoporosis, on the oral epithelium of healthy keratinized human oral mucosa. Bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw is a well-known severe consequence, but the effects during chronic therapy on the oral soft tissues are still matter of debate.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Six women over 60 year-old undergoing treatment of osteoporosis with 70 mg per week of oral ALN (lasting at least 2 years) were recruited and compared with a gender and age-matched group (n = 6). Proliferation, apoptosis, intercellular adhesion and terminal differentiation (TD) were investigated by immunofluorescence. In parallel, ultrastructural analysis was carried out.

RESULTS:

By immunofluorescence, a statistically significant decrease in keratinocyte proliferation was detected in the oral epithelium of the ALN group without any sign of apoptosis, but accompanied by a reduction in desmoglein 1 and keratin 10 expressions. In the uppermost layers of the oral epithelium of the ALN group, thin desmosomes were visible by transmission electron microscopy.

CONCLUSION:

Our results show that epithelial adhesion, TD and proliferation are affected by ALN therapeutic doses in clinically healthy human oral mucosa.

KEYWORDS:

adherens junction; desmosome; keratin; proliferation; tight junction; transmission electron microscopy

PMID:
23837876
DOI:
10.1111/odi.12154
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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