The role of inhibition of osteocyte apoptosis in mediating orthodontic tooth movement and periodontal remodeling: a pilot study

Kaplan, Michele; Kalajzic, Zana; Choi, Thomas; Maleeh, Imad; Ricupero, Christopher L.; Skelton, Michelle N.; Daily, Madeleine L.; Chen, Jing; Wadhwa, Sunil

Orthodontic tooth movement (OTM) has been shown to induce osteocyte apoptosis in alveolar bone shortly after force application. However, how osteocyte apoptosis affects orthodontic tooth movement is unknown. The goal of this study was to assess the effect of inhibition of osteocyte apoptosis on osteoclastogenesis, changes in the alveolar bone density, and the magnitude of OTM using a bisphosphonate analog (IG9402), a drug that affects osteocyte and osteoblast apoptosis but does not affect osteoclasts.

Material and methods
Two sets of experiments were performed. Experiment 1 was used to specifically evaluate the effect of IG9402 on osteocyte apoptosis in the alveolar bone during 24 h of OTM. For this experiment, twelve mice were divided into two groups: group 1, saline administration + OTM24-h (n=6), and group 2, IG9402 administration + OTM24-h (n=6). The contralateral unloaded sides served as the control. The goal of experiment 2 was to evaluate the role of osteocyte apoptosis on OTM magnitude and osteoclastogenesis 10 days after OTM. Twenty mice were divided into 4 groups: group 1, saline administration without OTM (n=5); group 2, IG9402 administration without OTM (n=5); group 3, saline + OTM10-day (n=6); and group 4, IG9402 + OTM10-day (n=4). For both experiments, tooth movement was achieved using Ultra Light (25g) Sentalloy Closed Coil Springs attached between the first maxillary molar and the central incisor. Linear measurements of tooth movement and alveolar bone density (BVF) were assessed by MicroCT analysis. Cell death (or apoptosis) was assessed by terminal dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) assay, while osteoclast and macrophage formation were assessed by tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) staining and F4/80+ immunostaining.

We found that IG9402 significantly blocked osteocyte apoptosis in alveolar bone (AB) at 24 h of OTM. At 10 days, IG9402 prevented OTM-induced loss of alveolar bone density and changed the morphology and quality of osteoclasts and macrophages, but did not significantly affect the amount of tooth movement.

Our study demonstrates that osteocyte apoptosis may play a significant role in osteoclast and macrophage formation during OTM, but does not seem to play a role in the magnitude of orthodontic tooth movement.


  • thumnail for 40510_2021_Article_366.pdf 40510_2021_Article_366.pdf application/pdf 516 KB Download File

Also Published In

Progress in Orthodontics

More About This Work

Published Here
August 10, 2022


Orthodontic tooth movement, Osteocyte apoptosis, Bisphosphonate