Impact of local steroid or statin treatment of experimental temporomandibular joint arthritis on bone growth in young rats

Callista Holwegner, Adam L. Reinhardt, Marian J. Schmid, David B. Marx, Richard A. Reinhardt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Introduction Juvenile idiopathic arthritis in temporomandibular joints (TMJs) is often treated with intra-articular steroid injections, which can inhibit condylar growth. The purpose of this study was to compare simvastatin (a cholesterol-lowering drug that reduces TMJ inflammation) with the steroid triamcinolone hexacetonide in experimental TMJ arthritis.

Methods Joint inflammation was induced by injecting complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) into the TMJs of 40 growing Sprague Dawley rats; 4 other rats were left untreated. In the same intra-articular injection, one of the following was applied: (1) 0.5 mg of simvastatin in ethanol carrier, (2) ethanol carrier alone, (3) 0.15 mg of triamcinolone hexacetonide, (4) 0.5 mg of simvastatin and 0.15 mg of triamcinolone hexacetonide, or (5) nothing additional to the CFA. The animals were killed 28 days later, and their mandibles were evaluated morphometrically and with microcomputed tomography.

Results The analysis showed that the TMJs subjected to CFA alone had decreased ramus height compared with those with no treatment (P <0.05). Groups that had injections containing the steroid overall had decreases in weight, ramus height, and bone surface density when compared with the CFA-alone group (P <0.0001). Groups that had injections containing simvastatin, however, had overall increases in weight (P <0.0001), ramus height (P <0.0001), condylar width (P <0.05), condylar bone surface density (P <0.05), and bone volume (P <0.0001) compared with the groups receiving the steroid injections, and they were not different from the healthy (no treatment) group.

Conclusions Treatment of experimentally induced arthritis in TMJs with intra-articular simvastatin preserved normal condylar bone growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-88
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthodontics

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