SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • cranial sutures;
  • cranial bone;
  • suture fusion;
  • Tgf-β3;
  • biomechanics

Abstract

Craniofacial sutures are bone growth fronts that respond and adapt to biomechanical environments. Little is known of the role sutures play in regulating the skull biomechanical environment during patency and fusion conditions, especially how delayed or premature suture fusion will impact skull biomechanics. Tgf-β3 has been shown to prevent or delay suture fusion over the short term in rat skulls, yet the long-term patency or its consequences in treated sutures is not known. It was therefore hypothesized that Tgf-β3 had a long-term impact to prevent suture fusion and thus alter the skull biomechanics. In this study, collagen gels containing 3 ng Tgf-β3 were surgically placed superficial to the posterior interfrontal suture (IFS) and deep to the periosteum in postnatal day 9 (P9) rats. At P9, P24, and P70, biting forces and strains over left parietal bone, posterior IFS, and sagittal suture were measured with masticatory muscles bilaterally stimulated, after which the rats were sacrificed and suture patency analyzed histologically. Results demonstrated that Tgf-β3 treated sutures showed less fusion over time than control groups, and strain patterns in the skulls of the Tgf-β3-treated group were different from that of the control group. Although bite force increased with age, no alterations in bite force were attributable to Tgf-β3 treatment. These findings suggest that the continued presence of patent sutures can affect strain patterns, perhaps when higher bite forces are present as in adult animals. Anat Rec,, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.