Adaptive plasticity in mammalian masticatory joints

Matthew J. Ravosa, Ravinder Kunwar, Elisabeth K. Nicholson, Emily B. Klopp, Jessie Pinchoff, Stuart R. Stock, M. Sharon Stack, Mark W. Hamrick

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


Genetically similar white rabbits raised on diets of different mechanical properties, as well as wild-type and myostatindeficient mice raised on similar diets, were compared to assess the postweaning effects of elevated masticatory loads due to increased jaw-adductor muscle and bite forces on the proportions and properties of the mandibular symphysis and temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Microcomputed tomography (microCT) was used to quantify bone structure at a series of equidistant external and internal sites in coronal sections for a series of joint locations. Discriminant function analyses and non-parametric ANOVAs were used to characterize variation in biomineralization within and between loading cohorts. In both species, long-term excessive loading results in larger joint proportions, thicker articular and cortical bone, and increased biomineralization of hard tissues. Such adaptive plasticity appears designed to maintain the postnatal integrity of masticatory joint systems for a primary loading environment(s). This behavioral signal may be increasingly mitigated in older organisms by the interplay between adaptive and degradative joint tissue responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDevelopments in X-Ray Tomography V
StatePublished - 2006
EventDevelopments in X-Ray Tomography V - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 15 2006Aug 17 2006

Publication series

NameProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)1605-7422


OtherDevelopments in X-Ray Tomography V
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • Biomineralization
  • Mandibular symphysis
  • MicroCT
  • Plasticity
  • Temporomandibular joint

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomaterials
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Adaptive plasticity in mammalian masticatory joints'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this