JOURNAL ARTICLE

TNF Accelerates Death of Mandibular Condyle Chondrocytes in Rats with Biomechanical Stimulation-Induced Temporomandibular Joint Disease

Hongxu Yang, Mian Zhang, Xin Wang, Hongyun Zhang, Jing Zhang, Lei Jing, Lifan Liao, Meiqing Wang
PloS One 2015, 10 (11): e0141774
26529096

OBJECTIVE: To determine if temporomandibular joint chondrocyte apoptosis is induced in rats with dental biomechanical stimulation and what a role TNF takes.

METHODS: Thirty-two rats were divided into 4 groups (n = 8/group) and exposed to incisor mal-occlusion induced by unilateral anterior crossbite biomechanical stimulation. Two groups were sampled at 2 or 4 weeks. The other two groups were treated with local injections of a TNF inhibitor or PBS into the temporomandibular joints area at 2 weeks and then sampled at 4 weeks. Twenty-four rats either served as unilateral anterior crossbite mock operation controls (n = 8/group) with sampling at 2 or 4 weeks or received a local injection of the TNF inhibitor at 2 weeks with sampling at 4 weeks. Chondrocytes were isolated from the temporomandibular joints of 6 additional rats and treated with TNF in vitro. Joint samples were assessed using Hematoxylin&eosin, Safranin O, TUNEL and immunohistochemistry staining, real-time PCR, fluorogenic activity assays and Western blot analyses. The isolated chondrocytes were also analyzed by flow cytometry.

RESULTS: Unilateral anterior crossbite stimulation led to temporomandibular joint cartilage degradation, associated with an increase in TUNEL-positive chondrocytes number, caspase-9 expression levels, and the release of cytochrome c from mitochondria at 2 weeks without changes in TNF and caspase-8 levels until after 4 weeks. TNF stimulated apoptosis of the isolated chondrocytes and up-regulated caspase-8 expression, but did not change caspase-9 expression levels. Local injection of TNF inhibitor down-regulated caspase-8 expression and reduced TUNEL-positive cell number, but did not reverse cartilage thickness reduction, caspase-9 up-regulation or cytochrome c release.

CONCLUSIONS: Unilateral anterior crossbite stimulation induces mitochondrion-mediated apoptosis of articular chondrocytes. TNF accelerated the unilateral anterior crossbite induced chondrocytes apoptosis via death-receptor pathway. However, anti-TNF therapy does not prevent cartilage loss in this model of temporomandibular joint.

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