RANK/RANKL/OPG expression in rapid maxillary expansion
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The aim of this study was to evaluate osteoclastogenesis signaling in midpalatal suture after rapid maxillary expansion (RME) in rats. Thirty male Wistar rats were randomly assigned to two groups with 15 animals each: control (C) and RME group. RME was performed by inserting a 1.5-mm-thick circular metal ring between the maxillary incisors. The animals were euthanized at 3, 7 and 10 days after RME. qRT-PCR was used to evaluate expression of Tnfsf11 (RANKL), Tnfrsf11a (RANK) and Tnfrsf11b (OPG). Data were submitted to statistical analysis using two-way ANOVA followed by Tukey test (α=0.05). There was an upregulation of RANK and RANKL genes at 7 and 10 days and an upregulation of the OPG gene at 3 and 7 days of healing. Interestingly, an increased in expression of all genes was observed over time in both RME and C groups. The RANKL/OPG ratio showed an increased signaling favoring bone resorption on RME compared to C at 3 and 7 days. Signaling against bone resorption was observed, as well as an upregulation of OPG gene expression in RME group, compared to C group at 10 days. The results of this study concluded that the RANK, RANK-L and OPG system participates in bone remodeling after RME.