Temporary loss of plasma membrane integrity in orthodontic tooth movement

M. F. Orellana-Lezcano Maria F., Paul W. Major, Paul L. McNeil, James L. Borke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


In these studies, a rat model of orthodontic tooth movement was used to support the premise that periodontal ligament (PDL) cells experience plasma membrane disruption and resealing events upon application of mechanical stress. Immunoelectron microscopy, showed albumin in the cytoplasm of PDL and bone lining cells in the tension side of moved molars. The intracellular localization of this large molecule (60 KDa) suggests that these cells have undergone plasma membrane disruption and resealing. To further assess these and previous findings, fluorescent dyes (FITC-dextran and rhodamine-dextran) were delivered into the vascular system followed by application of 50 g of static load. These large dextran molecules (10 KDa) were preferentially taken up by PDL cells of the buccal (tension side) of moved molars. These cells were determined to be viable since dead cells do not retain these diffusible tracers. These studies provide evidence of a novel cellular mechanism for uptake and release of molecules and suggest a potential role for plasma membrane disruption in the mechanotransduction of orthodontic tooth movement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-113
Number of pages8
JournalOrthodontics and Craniofacial Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Orthodontic tooth movement
  • Periodontal ligament
  • Plasma membrane disruption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthodontics
  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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