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Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol. 1994 Oct;78(4):494-502.

Pathogenesis of induced rat periapical lesions.

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Department of Cytokine Biology, Forsyth Dental Center, Kanagawa Dental College, and Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston, Mass.


Studies of the mechanisms of pathogenesis of periapical lesions were undertaken using a rat model of surgical pulp exposure. In this model, periapical lesions develop rapidly between days 0 and 15 (active phase) and more slowly thereafter (chronic phase). A Gram-negative anaerobic flora, similar to that seen in human beings, are quickly established. Lesions contain a mixed inflammatory cell infiltrate consisting of T cells, neutrophils, B cells, macrophages, and plasma cells. Helper T cells predominate during the active phase, whereas suppressor T cells are more frequent in the chronic phase. Extracts of periapical lesions contain bone-resorbing activity, the highest levels of which are present when lesions are actively expanding. Most bone-resorbing activity is mediated by the cytokine interleukin-1 alpha, as determined by biochemical criteria and antibody neutralization studies. Prostaglandin2 accounts for 10% to 15% of resorptive activity. Cells that express interleukin-1 alpha were identified in pulp beginning on day 2 after exposure and in periapical tissue beginning on day 7, as determined by in situ hybridization and immunostaining. Macrophages, fibroblasts, neutrophils, and osteoclasts were positive for interleukin-1 alpha mRNA and protein. Cells that express tumor necrosis factor alpha were also detected, whereas cells expressing interleukin-1 beta or tumor necrosis factor beta were absent. Finally, periapical bone destruction was inhibited by 60% by treatment with interleukin-1 receptor antagonist. These studies establish a key role for interleukin-1 alpha in the pathogenesis of periapical lesions in the rat model.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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