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18 December 2018

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Int J Med Sci 2013; 10(12):1698-1701. doi:10.7150/ijms.6315

Research Paper

Immunohistochemical Evaluation of Neuroreceptors in Healthy and Pathological Temporo-Mandibular Joint

Gianfranco Favia1, Massimo Corsalini2✉, Daniela Di Venere2, Francesco Pettini2, Giorgio Favia3, Saverio Capodiferro4, Eugenio Maiorano5

1. Full Professor, Dental School, University of Bari, Bari, Italy
2. Assistant Professor, Dental School, University of Bari, Bari, Italy
3. Postgraduate in Plastic surgery, Campus Biomedico, University of Rome, Rome, Italy
4. Lecturer, Dental School, University of Bari, Bari, Italy
5. Full Professor, Department of Pathological Anatomy, University of Bari, Bari, Italy


Aim: A study was performed on the articular disk and periarticular tissues of the temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ) with immunohistochemical techniques to give evidence to the presence of neuroreceptors (NRec) in these sites. Methods: The study was carried out on tissue samples obtained from 10 subjects without TMJ disease and from 7 patients with severe TMJ arthritis and arthrosis. We use antibodies directed against following antigens: Gliofibrillary Acidic Protein (GFAP), Leu-7, Myelin Basic Protein (MBP), Neurofilaments 68 kD (NF), Neuron Specific Enolase (NSE), S-100 protein (S-100) and Synaptophysin (SYN). Results: This study revealed that Ruffini's-like, Pacini's-like and Golgi's-like receptors can be demonstrated in TMJ periarticular tissues and that free nervous endings are present in the subsynovial tissues but not within the articular disk. We observed elongated cytoplamic processes of chondrocytes that demonstrated strong S-100 immunoreactivity but they were unreactive with all other antibodies. These cytoplamic processes were more abundant and thicker in the samples obtained from patients with disease TMJ. Conclusion: The results of this study confirm that different Nrec are detectable in TMJ periarticular tissues but they are absent within the articular disk. In the latter site, only condrocytic processes are evident, especially in diseased TMJ, and they might have been confused with nervous endings in previous morphological studies. Nevertheless the absence of immunoreactivity for NF, NSE and SYN proves that they are not of neural origin.

Keywords: neuroreceptors, temporo-mandibular joint

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How to cite this article:
Favia G, Corsalini M, Di Venere D, Pettini F, Favia G, Capodiferro S, Maiorano E. Immunohistochemical Evaluation of Neuroreceptors in Healthy and Pathological Temporo-Mandibular Joint. Int J Med Sci 2013; 10(12):1698-1701. doi:10.7150/ijms.6315. Available from