The pathogenesis of bisphosphonate-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (BRONJ) remains unknown, and the development of a reliable experimental model would help to improve our understanding of it.
Benedicta E. Beck-Broichsitter, Heino Dau, Tobias Moest, Arne Jochens, Philipp Stockmann, Jörg Wiltfang and Stephan T. Becker
Background The majority of patients diagnosed with osteomyelitis of the jaw have severe complaints. Unfortunately, the pathogenesis still remains unclear. Human ß-defensins expressed in epithelial and bone tissues as a part of the innate immunity may be involved in disease development. In this study, we hypothesize that expression levels of human ß-defensin-1 and -2 in the acute and secondary chronic osteomyelitis may be altered in comparison with healthy bone and with bisphosphonate-associated necrosis as well as irradiation from a previous study.
Method Bone samples were collected during surgical debridement in a total of eight patients suffering from acute or secondary chronic osteomyelitis of the jaw. Expression levels of hBD-1 and -2 were quantified and related to non-stained cells. Ratios were compared by one-way ANOVA and multiple tests by Holm–Bonferroni.
Results Multiple testing revealed no significant differences for expression levels of human ß-defensin-1 between all groups, whereas labeling index of human ß-defensin-2 was significantly different between specimens of bisphosphonate-associated osteonecrosis of the jaws and all other groups. No significant difference occurred between samples of floride osteomyelitis and healthy bone for expression of hBD-1 and -2.
Conclusions Although the affected patients showed all clinical signs of acute inflammation, expression levels in acute and secondary chronic osteomyelitis in the jaws did not reveal statistically significant differences compared with healthy bone samples. The weak immunological host response in terms of a putative genetically predisposition should be further discussed as pathogenesis factor for osteomyelitis in the future.
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DJ Kubek, DB Burr, MR Allen
The pathophysiology of osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) is thought to be linked to suppression of intracortical remodeling. The aim of this study was to determine whether mice, which normally do not undergo appreciable amounts of intracortical remodeling, could be stimulated by ovariectomy to remodel within the cortex of the mandible and if bisphosphonates (BPs) would suppress this intracortical remodeling. Skeletally mature female C3H mice were either ovariectomized (OVX) or SHAM operated and treated with two intravenous doses of zoledronic acid (ZOL, 0.06 mg/kg body weight) or vehicle (VEH). This ZOL dose corresponds to the dose given to patients with cancer on a mg/kg basis, adjusted for body weight. Calcein was administered prior to sacrifice to label active formation sites. Dynamic histomorphometry of the mandible and femur was performed. Vehicle-treated OVX animals had significantly higher (eightfold) intracortical remodeling of the alveolar portion of the mandible compared to sham – this was significantly suppressed by ZOL treatment. At all skeletal sites, overall bone formation rate was lower with ZOL treatment compared to the corresponding VEH group. Under normal conditions, the level of intracortical remodeling in the mouse mandible is minimal but in C3H mice it can be stimulated to appreciable levels with ovariectomy. Based on this, if the suppression of intracortical remodeling is found to be part of the pathophysiology of ONJ, the ovariectomized C3H mouse could serve as a useful tool for studying this condition.