Journal Article

Indices of extracellular matrix turnover in human masseter muscles as markers of craniofacial form—a preliminary study

H. L. Tippett, L. K. Dodgson, N. P. Hunt and M. P. Lewis

in The European Journal of Orthodontics

Published on behalf of European Orthodontics Society

Volume 30, issue 2, pages 217-225
Published in print April 2008 | ISSN: 0141-5387
Published online February 2008 | e-ISSN: 1460-2210 | DOI:
Indices of extracellular matrix turnover in human masseter muscles as markers of craniofacial form—a preliminary study

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Environmental remodelling of the craniofacial musculature is obligatory for successful outcomes following interventions such as functional appliance therapy or orthognathic surgery. Genetically driven remodelling of the craniofacial musculature is also seen in individuals with altered facial form. The processes that are involved in the remodelling of intramuscular connective tissue need to be activated in such situations. Such processes require activity of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and the tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases (TIMPs), which are responsible for extracellular matrix (ECM) turnover. The aim of this study was, therefore, to establish the expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9 and their inhibitors, TIMP-1 and TIMP-2, in the masseter muscle of humans with both normal and increased vertical facial form and to assess whether this expression had any value as a predictor of facial form.

Biopsies were taken from 20 subjects (10 with vertical facial deformity and 10 with normal vertical facial form to act as a control group). The sample group consisted of 15 females and 5 males and the average age of the donors ± standard deviation (SD) was 26.04 ± 6.16 years (range: 17.67–31.25 years). Biopsy samples were then subjected to zymography and reverse zymography to assess MMP and TIMP expression, respectively. Lateral skull cephalograms were analysed for each subject using Spearman's rho correlation coefficients and Mann–Whitney U-tests.

TIMP-1 activity was consistently expressed in human masseter muscle. MMP-2, MMP-9, and TIMP-2 activity, when detected, was at a low level. These data indicate that in most individuals, an excess of TIMP-1, compared with MMP-2 and MMP-9, limits ECM turnover in human masseter muscle. There was a demonstrable variation in proteinase expression between different individuals. These preliminary findings, however, do not confirm that indices of ECM turnover are a reflection of an individual's vertical facial form.

Journal Article.  4251 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics

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