July 6, 2020
The aim of this study was to analyze the effect of rapid maxillary expansion (RME) on hard tissues. Opening loops bonded to the first and second maxillary molars on both sides were used to apply distracting forces of 0.28 N, 0.42 N and 0.56 N at the midpalatal suture for 7 and 14 days. Microcomputed tomography (MicroCT), histomorphometry and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analysis were performed to evaluate RME effectiveness, midpalatal suture remodeling, cell counting of osteoblasts, osteoclasts and chondrocytes and the expression of bone remodeling markers, respectively. All forces at the two different time points resulted in similar RME and enhanced of bone remodeling. Accordingly, increased number of osteoblasts and reduced chondrocytes counting and no difference in osteoclasts were seen after all RME protocols. RME yielded increased expression of bone remodeling markers as osteocalcin (Ocn), dentin matrix acidic phosphoprotein-1 (Dmp1), runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2), collagen type I Alpha 1 (Col1a1), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B (RANK), receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B ligand (Rankl), osteoprotegerin (Opg), cathepsin K (Ctsk), matrix metalloproteinases 9 and 13 (Mmp9 and 13), transforming growth fator beta 1, 2 and 3 (Tgfb 1, Tgfb 2 and Tgfb3), bone morphogenetic protein 2 (Bmp-2), sclerostin (Sost), beta-catenin-like protein 1 (Ctnnbl) and Wnt signaling pathways 3, 3a and 5a (Wnt 3, Wnt 3a and Wnt 5a). These findings characterize the cellular changes and potential molecular pathways involved in RME, proving the reliability of this protocol as a model for mechanical-induced bone remodeling.