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Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol. 1986 Apr;61(4):307-14.

Estrogen receptors in the temporomandibular joint of the baboon (Papio cynocephalus): an autoradiographic study.


Using an autoradiographic method, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) complex of five aged female baboons was studied for the presence of receptors for estradiol-17 beta. The study was performed in an effort to learn more of the pathophysiology of this joint and in an attempt to provide a scientific basis to explain the reported preponderance of women who seek and undergo treatment for signs and symptoms referable to the TMJ. This experiment revealed that the TMJ complex contains numerous cells with receptors for estrogen, particularly the articular surface of the condyle, articular disk, and capsule. Muscles of mastication contained relatively fewer receptors. As a result, one may postulate a role for the sex steroid hormones in the maintenance, repair, and/or pathogenesis of the TMJ. Additional studies are necessary to fully determine the significance of hormone receptors in this site and any correlation between diseases of the TMJ and the endocrine status of affected patients.

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