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Alcohol. 2019 Jun;77:59-70. doi: 10.1016/j.alcohol.2018.10.004. Epub 2018 Oct 15.

Effects of ethanol on human periodontal ligament fibroblasts subjected to static compressive force.

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Department of Orthodontics, University Hospital Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany. Electronic address:
School of Dentistry of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Brazil.
Department of Cranio-Maxillo-Facial Surgery, University Hospital Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.
Department of Orthodontics, University Hospital Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.


Consumption of toxic substances such as alcohol is widespread in the general population and thus also in patients receiving orthodontic treatment. Since human periodontal ligament (hPDL) fibroblasts play a key role in orthodontic tooth movement (OTM) by expressing cytokines and chemokines, we wanted to clarify whether ethanol modulates the physiological activity and expression pattern of hPDL fibroblasts during static compressive force application. We pre-incubated hPDL fibroblasts for 24 h with different ethanol concentrations, corresponding to casual (0.041% blood alcohol concentration [BAC], % by volume) and excessive (0.179%) alcohol consumption. At each ethanol concentration, we incubated the cells for another 48 h with and without an additional physiological compressive force of 2 g/cm2 occurring during orthodontic tooth movement in compression areas of the periodontal ligament. Thereafter, we analyzed expression and secretion of genes and proteins involved in OTM regulation by RT-qPCR and ELISA. We also performed co-culture experiments to observe hPDL-fibroblast-mediated osteoclastogenesis. We observed no effects of ethanol on cytotoxicity or cell viability of hPDL fibroblasts in the applied concentrations. Ethanol showed an enhancing effect on angiogenesis and activity of alkaline phosphatase. Simultaneously, ethanol reduced the induction of IL-6 and increased prostaglandin E2 synthesis as well as hPDL-fibroblast-mediated osteoclastogenesis without affecting the RANK-L/OPG-system. hPDL fibroblasts thus seem to be a cell type quite resistant to ethanol, as no cytotoxic effects or influence on cell viability were detected. High ethanol concentrations, however, seem to promote bone formation and angiogenesis. Ethanol at 0.179% also enhanced hPDL-induced osteoclastogenesis, indicating increased bone resorption and thus tooth movement velocity to be expected during orthodontic therapy.


Alcohol; Compressive force; Ethanol; Orthodontics; PDL; Periodontal ligament fibroblast

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