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J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 1998 Feb;56(2):189-91.

The influence of neuropeptides, serotonin, and interleukin 1beta on temporomandibular joint pain and inflammation.

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Department of Clinical Oral Physiology, School of Dentistry, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge, Sweden.



This article describes the possible role of various peptides in producing pain and inflammation in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).


Current research findings on the spectrophotometric quantification of TMJ synovial fluid for neuropeptide Y (NPY), serotonin (5HT), and interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) are presented.


NPY was found in high levels in the synovial fluid of arthritic TMJs with resting pain, and serotonin (5-HT) was found in patients with pain perceived on mandibular movement. These pain-related mediators were also associated with restricted mandibular mobility. Interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) was found to be strongly associated with hyperalgesia over the TMJ as well as resting pain. Anterior open bite as a clinical sign of joint destruction was found to be associated with high levels of NPY and IL-1beta in the synovial fluid. IL-1beta was also related to the radiographic signs of joint destruction.


Interaction between the peripheral nervous system (sensory and sympathetic nerves) and the immune system is probably of importance for the modulation of pain and inflammation in the TMJ, but this subject has to be investigated further with experimental clinical studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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