Effect of loading on the migration of periodontal fibroblasts in the rat incisor

Y. Michaeli, D. Shamir, Miron Weinreb, Shulamit Steigman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The influence of occlusal loading on periodontal fibroblasts was investigated in hypoloaded (shortened out of occlusion), functionally loaded and hyperloaded (constant linguointrusive mechanical loads of 9.4 ± 0.06 g) lower left rat incisors. One hour following injection of 3H‐thymidine, half of the animals in each group were killed, while the remaining rats were killed 2 weeks later. The decalcified incisors were embedded in glycolmethacrylate and sectioned (2 μm) serially, perpendicularly to the long tooth axis. Labeled and unlabeled fibroblasts in the tooth‐related periodontal ligament were counted in 8 × 80μm consecutive layers. Cell density (CD) and labeling index (LI) were plotted according to their location on the apico‐incisal and cementum‐bone axes. Loading caused a decrease in CD and a shift of cells from the cementum towards the middle of the ligament, proportionally to load intensity and duration. The average tooth‐to‐bone movement of the cells was 2 μm/day in the hypoloaded and 4 μm/day in the two loaded groups. The mean daily tooth eruption rate was 975 ± 60 4 μm, 499 ± 18 μm and 103 ± 27 μm in the hypo‐, functionally‐and hyperloaded teeth, respectively. The respective concomitant average daily cell migration rates in the incisal direction were 786 μm, 500 μm and 500 μm, i.e. 80%, 100% and 485% of the tooth eruption rates. The gross disparity between cell velocity and tooth movement under conditions of restrained eruption indicates active motility of the fibroblasts, rather than their passive tooth‐eruption dependent translation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-34
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Periodontal Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1994


  • cell migration
  • periodontal fibroblasts
  • rat incisor
  • tooth loading


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