Tooth eruption requires resorption of the alveolar bone interposed between the tooth germ and the oral mucosa (coronal bone). The cells responsible for bone resorption are the osteoclasts and their activity can be reduced or inactivated by estrogen hormone. We aimed to investigate the effects of estrogen on the process of tooth eruption in rats. Thirty-three Wistar rats, aged two-to-17-days, were divided into control, sham and estrogen-treated groups. After daily injections with estrogen, the animals were euthanized and the jaws removed and processed for histological analysis. We performed clinical examination, morphological analysis, quantification of the number of osteoclasts on the surface of the coronal bone and immunohistochemical analysis of estrogen receptor type alpha (ERα). Estrogen therapy was effective, which could be confirmed by the higher estrogen plasma levels on treated animals. However, it had no effect on tooth development or tooth eruption. Progressive bone resorption was observed and the number of osteoclasts on coronal bone was not affected on hormoneinjected animals, allowing tooth to erupt at the same time observed in untreated animals. Immunohistochemistry for ERα confirmed the presence of this type of receptor in osteoclasts, osteoblasts and osteocytes. Taken together, our results showed that estrogen stimulation was not sufficient to decrease the number of osteoclasts on the coronal bone, supporting the idea that, although estrogen may have a protective activity on bone resorption, this may not apply to the alveolar bone that is meant to be resorbed during eruptive process.
KEY WORDS: tooth eruption, bone resorption, estrogen, osteoclasts.
How to cite this article
LIMA-PANSINI, L. F.; LIMA, N. S. C.; GUSS, N. O.; ALVES, I. S. S.; GAMA-DE-SOUZA, L. N.; GRACELLI, J. B.; PACHECO, M. S. & COBURN, K. L. A. Analysis of estrogen effects on eruption of rat molars. Int. J. Odontostomat., 13(4):418-427, 2019.