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Molecular and Structural Assessment of Alveolar Bone During Tooth Eruption and Function in the Miniature Pig, Sus Scrofa

Yeh, Kuang-Dah, Popowics, Tracy
Anatomia, histologia, embryologia 2011 v.40 no.4 pp. 283-291
RNA, Sus scrofa, bone resorption, euthanasia, gene expression, miniature swine, resorption, swine
With 5 figures and 2 tables SUMMARY: The development of alveolar bone adjacent to the tooth root during tooth eruption is not well understood. This study tested the hypothesis that predominantly woven bone forms adjacent to tooth roots during tooth eruption, but that this immature structure transitions to lamellar bone when the tooth comes into function. Additionally, bone resorption was predicted to play a key role in transitioning immature bone to more mature, load-bearing tissue. Miniature pigs were compared at two occlusal stages, 13 weeks (n = 3), corresponding with the mucosal penetration stage of M₁ tooth eruption, and 23 weeks (n = 3), corresponding with early occlusion of M¹/M₁. Bone samples for RNA extraction and qRT-PCR analysis were harvested from the diastema and adjacent to M₁ roots on one side. Following euthanasia, bone samples for haematoxylin and eosin and TRAP staining were harvested from these regions on the other side. In contrast to expectations, both erupting and functioning molars had reticular fibrolamellar structure in alveolar bone adjacent to M₁. However, the woven bone matrix in older pigs was thicker and had denser primary osteons. Gene expression data and osteoclast cell counts showed a tendency for more bone resorptive activity near the molars than at distant sites, but no differences between eruptive stages. Thus, although resorption does occur, it is not a primary mechanism in the transition in alveolar bone from eruption to function. Incremental growth of existing woven bone and filling in of primary osteons within the mineralized scaffold generated the fortification necessary to support an erupted and functioning tooth.