• osteocyte;
  • osteocytic lacunar canalicular system;
  • bone remodeling;
  • bone maturation;
  • titanium implantation;
  • tissue reaction


Osseointegration is the most preferable interface of dental implants and newly formed bone. However, the cavity preparation for dental implants often gives rise to empty lacunae or pyknotic osteocytes in bone surrounding the dental implant. This study aimed to examine the chronological alternation of osteocytes in the bone surrounding the titanium implants using a rat model. The distribution of the osteocytic lacunar canalicular system (OLCS) in bone around the titanium implants was examined by silver impregnation according to Bodian's staining. We also performed double staining for alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP), as well as immunohistochemistry for fibroblast growth factor (FGF) 23—a regulator for the serum concentration of phosphorus—and sclerostin, which has been shown to inhibit osteoblastic activities. Newly formed bone and the injured bone at the early stage exhibited an irregularly distributed OLCS and a few osteocytes positive for sclerostin or FGF23, therefore indicating immature bone. Osteocytes in the surrounding bone from Day 20 to Month 2 came to reveal an intense immunoreactivity for sclerostin. Later on, the physiological bone remodeling gradually replaced such immature bone into a compact profile bearing a regularly arranged OLCS. As the bone was remodeled, FGF23 immunoreactivity became more intense, but sclerostin became less so in the well-arranged OLCS. In summary, it seems likely that OLCS in the bone surrounding the dental implants is damaged by cavity formation, but later gradually recovers as bone remodeling takes place, ultimately inducing mature bone. Anat Rec,, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.