Critical roles of periostin in the process of orthodontic tooth movement.
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AIM: The process of orthodontic tooth movement (OTM) involves multiple mechanisms of action including bone and extracellular matrix remodelling, although the role of periodontal ligament (PDL) in this process is largely unknown. Periostin, which is highly expressed in the PDL, is known to be responsible for mechanical stimulation in maintaining the integrity of periodontal tissues. We hypothesize that this protein plays an important role during OTM. MATERIAL AND METHODS: By using spring in 4-week-old wild-type (WT) and periostin null mice, the rate of tooth movement and mineralization were evaluated. For the evaluation, double labelling, expression of sclerostin (SOST), number of TRAP-positive cells, and quality of collagen fibrils by Sirius red were analysed and compared between these two groups. RESULTS: Our findings showed that the distance of the tooth movement and mineral deposition rates were significantly reduced in periostin null mice (P < 0.05), with a lack of expression changes in SOST as observed in the WT group. The arrangement, digestion, and integrity of collagen fibrils were impaired in periostin null mice. The number of osteoclasts reflected by expressions of TRAP (tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase) in the null mice was also significantly lower than the WT control (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Periostin plays a stimulatory role in both SOST and TRAP responses to OTM in the compassion site, although it is not clear if this role is direct or indirect during orthodontic loading.