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Volume 21 , Issue 3
Summer 2007

Dietary Loading and Aggrecanase-1/TIMP-3 Expression in Rat Mandibular Condylar Cartilage

Dahai Yu, DDS, PhD / Petri Tiilikainen, DDS / Aune Raustia, DDS, PhD / Pertti Pirttiniemi, DDS, PhD

PMID: 17717962

Aims: To examine the expression of aggrecanase-1 and a tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMP-3) in the condylar cartilage of young rats and to determine their relationship during altered dietary loading at different time points after weaning. Methods: One hundred Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups: the soft-diet group, which served as the control group (n = 50), or the hard-diet group, which served as the experimental group (n = 50). Ten soft- and 10 hard-diet rats were killed at 6 hours, 12 hours, 24 hours, 48 hours, and 9 days after weaning (ie, after initiation of diet change for hard-diet rats). The right-side temporomandibular joints (TMJs) were prepared for immunohistochemical staining. The cartilage from the left-side mandibular condyles of all 10 animals in each group was combined for Western blot analysis. Results: Immunohistochemical analysis revealed strong staining for aggrecanase-1 localized mainly in the chondrocytes of proliferative and upper hypertrophic cartilage zones at all time points in both groups. The immunohistological expression of aggrecanase-1 was significantly higher in the hard-diet group at 12 and 24 hours than in the soft-diet group. Strong staining for TIMP-3 was mainly localized in the chondrocytes of proliferative and upper hypertrophic zones at all time points in both groups. The expression of TIMP-3 in the hard-diet group was at a significantly lower level compared to the soft-diet group at 6 hours. Western blot analysis also showed time-related differences in aggrecanase-1 and TIMP-3, but there was no significant difference between the 2 groups. Conclusion: The temporary change in aggrecanase-1 and TIMP-3 expression reflects the complex interaction of these enzymes in the physiologic range and cartilage response to altered dietary loading. J Orofac Pain 2007;21: 232238

Key words: aggrecanase-1, joint loading, mandibular condylar cartilage, TIMP-3

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