Objectives: Nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates induce osteonecrosis mostly in the jaw and less frequently in other bones. Because of the crucial role of periosteal perfusion in bone repair, we investigated zoledronate-induced microcirculatory reactions in the mandibular periosteum in comparison with those in the tibia in a clinically relevant model of bisphosphonate-induced medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (MRONJ). Materials and methods: Sprague–Dawley rats were treated with zoledronate (ZOL; 80 i.v. μg/kg/week over 8 weeks) or saline vehicle. The first two right mandibular molar teeth were extracted after 3 weeks. Various systemic and local (periosteal) microcirculatory inflammatory parameters were examined by intravital videomicroscopy after 9 weeks. Results: Gingival healing disorders (∼100 %) and MRONJ developed in 70 % of ZOL-treated cases but not after saline (shown by micro-CT). ZOL induced significantly higher degrees of periosteal leukocyte rolling and adhesion in the mandibular postcapillary venules (at both extraction and intact sites) than at the tibia. Leukocyte NADPH-oxidase activity was reduced; leukocyte CD11b and plasma TNF-alpha levels were unchanged. Conclusion: Chronic ZOL treatment causes a distinct microcirculatory inflammatory reaction in the mandibular periosteum but not in the tibia. The local reaction in the absence of augmented systemic leukocyte inflammatory activity suggests that topically different, endothelium-specific changes may play a critical role in the pathogenesis of MRONJ. Clinical relevance: This model permits for the first time to explore the microvascular processes in the mandibular periosteum after chronic ZOL treatment. This approach may contribute to a better understanding of the pathomechanism and the development of strategies to counteract bisphosphonate-induced side effects.
- Intravital fluorescence videomicroscopy
- Mandibular periosteum
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