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Osteoblast Lineage Cells Play an Essential Role in Periodontal Bone Loss Through Activation of Nuclear Factor-Kappa B

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Bacterial pathogens stimulate periodontitis, the most common osteolytic disease in humans and the most common cause of tooth loss in adults. Previous studies identified leukocytes and their products as key factors in this process. We demonstrate for the first time that osteoblast lineage cells play a critical role in periodontal disease. Oral infection stimulated nuclear localization of NF-κB in osteoblasts and osteocytes in the periodontium of wild type but not transgenic mice that expressed a lineage specific dominant negative mutant of IKK (IKK-DN) in osteoblast lineage cells. Wild-type mice were also susceptible to bacteria induced periodontal bone loss but transgenic mice were not. The lack of bone loss in the experimental group was linked to reduced RANKL expression by osteoblast lineage cells that led to diminished osteoclast mediated bone resorption and greater coupled new bone formation. The results demonstrate that osteoblast lineage cells are key contributors to periodontal bone loss through an NF-κB mediated mechanism.

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