OBJECTIVE: To assess the effect of local sympathectomy on mandibular bone during tooth eruption in rats.
METHODS: The effect of a unilateral superior cervical ganglionectomy (Gx) on morphometry of ipsi- and contralateral mandible and volumetric bone density (as assessed by peripheral computed tomography) was examined 30 days after surgery.
RESULTS: Only a few mandibular morphometric parameters decreased significantly after denervation in rats subjected to a unilateral Gx and a contralateral sham-operation. Mandibular volumetric bone density decreased significantly after sympathetic denervation. In a second experiment, carried out under conditions of unilateral unimpeded eruption of incisors performed ipsilaterally or contralaterally to a unilateral Gx, a significant interaction "denervation x type of eruption" was found for most morphometric parameters. Further analysis indicated higher morphometric indexes in denervated mandibles than in the innervated ones under impeded incisor eruption conditions, and lower morphometric indexes in denervated mandibles than in the innervated ones under unimpeded incisor eruption conditions. Unimpeded eruption augmented total volumetric bone density providing the innervation was intact and caused opposite effects on cortical volumetric bone density in the presence of innervation (increase) or absence of innervation (decrease). Trabecular volumetric bone density decreased significantly after sympathetic denervation.
CONCLUSION: The results support a role of the sympathetic nervous system in the regulation of bone remodeling....