The oxytalan fibre network in the periodontium and its possible mechanical function.
until further notice
SourceArchives of Oral Biology, 57, 8, (2012), pp. 1003-1011
1 augustus 2012
Article / Letter to editor
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Archives of Oral Biology
SubjectNCEBP 2: Evaluation of complex medical interventions; NCMLS 3: Tissue engineering and pathology
The biomechanical character of the periodontal ligament (PDL) is crucial in its response to functional and orthodontic forces. Collagen has been the primary subject of investigations in this field. Several studies, however, indicate that oxytalan fibres, which belong to the elastic fibre family, also contribute to the biomechanical character and behaviour of the PDL. In order to elucidate this, we have evaluated the available literature on the oxytalan fibre network within the PDL and supra-alveolar tissues with respect to development, morphology and distribution, and response to mechanical stimulation. To this end, we have combined the classical histological studies with more recent in vitro studies. Oxytalan fibres develop simultaneously with the root and the vascular system within the PDL. A close association between oxytalan fibres and the vascular system also remains later in life, suggesting a role in vascular support. Mechanical loading of the PDL, through orthodontic force application, appears to induce an increase in the number, size, and length of oxytalan fibres. In line with this, in vitro stretching of PDL fibroblasts (PDLFs) results in an increased production of fibrillin, a major structural component of the microfibrils that make up oxytalan fibres. The available data suggest a mechanical function for oxytalan, but to date experimental data are limited. Further research is required to clarify their exact mechanical function and possible role in orthodontic tooth movement.
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