To evaluate the role of sensory nerve innervation in alveolar bone remodeling during experimental tooth movement, we investigated histomorphometrically the influence of sensory nerve denervation on bone metabolism. Seven days after inferior alveolar nerve (IAN) transection or a sham operation in rats, orthodontic force was applied to the animals by inserting an elastic module interproximally between the lower first molar and second molar. Twenty-four hours after the application of the orthodontic force, osteoclast number, osteoclast surface, and osteoblast surface were measured on the trabecular bone surface in the interradicular septum of the lower second molar. The distribution of sensory nerve fibers immunoreactive to antibody against calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) was also evaluated. In the sham-operated rats, CGRP-immunoreactive nerves were observed to be distributed along the blood vessels in the trabecular alveolar bone. Experimental tooth movement resulted in a fivefold increase in the number of osteoclasts and in increased immunoreactivity of nerves to anti-CGRP in the trabecular bone. However, IAN transection depleted the immunoreactivity to anti-CGRP and reduced the osteoclast number and osteoclast surface significantly. On the other hand, in the rats that were not subjected to experimental tooth movement, there was no significant difference in osteoclast number between sham-operated and IAN-transected rats. Significant changes were not observed in osteoblast surfaces associated with experimental tooth movement or nerve transection. These findings suggest that sensory nerves play an important role in regulating bone resorptive activity during experimental tooth movement.
- Alveolar bone
- Calcitonin gene-related peptide
- Inferior alveolar nerve
- Tooth movement
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism