Effects of hypofunction on the distribution of 3H-proline in the transseptal fibers of the periodontium of the rat



There is little information concerning the effect of altered occlusal forces on the turnover of collagenous proteins of transseptal fibers of the periodontium. In the present study, hypofunction was induced in rats by extraction of the maxillary teeth, allowing the mandibular teeth to supererupt (hypofunctional side, herein). The contralateral side served as an internal control, although it was likely experiencing occlusal hyperfunction (hyperfunctional side, herein). Untreated animals were also studied (external controls, herein). Animals were injected with 3H-proline and silver grains were counted on radioautographic preparations. The study demonstrated significant differences in the synthesis and degradation of collagenous proteins coincident to altered occlusal function; 3H-proline was most heavily incorporated into the transseptal fibers of hyperfunctional and least rapidly into the external control tissues (P<.001). Significant differences in grain counts were evident during the first 3 weeks after injections. Collagenous proteins were degraded most rapidly in transseptal fibers of the hyperfunctional and least rapidly in hypofunctional tissues (P<.001). The study also demonstrated regional variability in the turnover of labeled collagenous proteins, that is, proteins were synthesized and degraded most rapidly in the middle third and least rapidly in the mesial third of the ligament (P<.001). “Whole” counts (mean of counts over middle, mesial, and distal thirds) were not similar to those of any specific region and could provide erroneous information concerning remodeling of collagenous proteins of transseptal fibers. Transseptal fibers, labeled by the 3H-proline pulse, migrated occlusally with the teeth; new transseptal fibers and bone were formed at the crest of the interdental septum.