• Sharpey's fibers;
  • experimental tooth movement;
  • alveolar bone;
  • rat


There is little information concerning the effects of tooth movement on the relative synthesis of bone matrix and Sharpey's fiber collagenous proteins. The purpose of this study was to investigate this situation using radioautographic techniques. The maxillary first molar tooth in rats was tipped toward the midline using an appliance and the animals were injected with 3H-proline after 3 days and sacrificed 24 hr later. Maxillae were sectioned and silver grain proportional areas (grain density/5,000 μm2) evaluated over Sharpey's fibers and adjacent alveolar bone matrix using computerized densitometry and histomorphometric techniques. These data were compared to a group of untreated animals by Fisher's exact test. At depository surfaces of experimental tissues, the silver grain proportional area over bone matrix was significantly greater than over Sharpey's fibers (P < 0.05) and control bone matrix (P < 0.01). The silver grain proportional area over Sharpey's fibers was not different between the groups. At resorptive surfaces, the silver grain proportional area over both bone matrix and Sharpey's fibers was significantly greater in experimental tissues compared to controls (P < 0.01). Thus, movements of adjacent teeth affect both the quantity and ratios of collagenous protein incorporation into Sharpey's fibers and adjacent alveolar bone, which is dependent on the intensity and characteristics of the force. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.