• periosteum;
  • mandibular growth;
  • tissue engineering;
  • cell loading


Periosteal growth at human mandibular ramus is characterized by bone apposition at the posterior border and resorption at the anterior border. Molecular control of this regional variation is unclear. This study examined the expression of several molecules involved in bone apposition/resorption at these regions in vivo and in vitro. By using growing pigs as a model, the periosteal growth was assessed at the mandibular ramus by vital staining and histological observations. In parallel, periosteal tissues were harvested and pulverized for RNA and protein extraction. Periosteal cells were also isolated, expanded in osteogenic media, and subjected to a single dose of dynamic tensile strain (0, 5, or 10% magnitude at 0.5 Hz) to examine their responses to mechanical loading. Real-time RT-PCR and Western blot analyses were used to examine mRNA and protein expression from periosteal tissues and cultured cells. Histological observation confirmed an anterior-resorption/posterior-apposition pattern in the pig mandibular ramus. Both in vivo tissue and in vitro cells demonstrated greater mRNA expression of receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL)/osteoprotegerin (OPG) ratio and bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) at the anterior region, while OPG expression at the anterior region was lower than the posterior region. In response to the application of a single dose of dynamic tensile strain, cultured periosteal cells appeared to change the expression profile of osteogenic markers but not that of RANKL/OPG and BMP2. These findings suggest that the unique regional variation of periosteal activity at the mandibular ramus is regulated by a differential expression of RANKL/OPG ratio (likely through differential induction of OPG) and BMP2. Anat Rec, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.