Effect of different doses of transforming growth factor-β₁ on cartilage and subchondral bone in osteoarthritic temporomandibular joints

Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2013 Apr;51(3):241-6. doi: 10.1016/j.bjoms.2012.05.014. Epub 2012 Jul 3.


Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) plays an important part in the repair of cartilage in osteoarthritis. It has been hypothesised that intra-articular injection of TGF-β₁ promotes repair of cartilage and protects the subchondral bone from damage in osteoarthritic temporomandibular joints (TMJs). We made bilateral partial perforations of the disc to induce osteoarthritic joints in 36 rabbits. TGF-β₁ 20, 40, or 80 ng were injected into the right joint, and vehicle alone was injected into the left joint. Four additional animals were used as normal controls. Microcomputed tomography was used to quantify the three-dimensional microarchitecture of subchondral bone, followed by assessment of the proteoglycan content. All joints treated with TGF-β₁ were covered by a layer of well-organised fibrocartilage, and had increased proteoglycan content and normal microarchitectural properties, whereas the joint treated by vehicle alone had typical osteoarthritis-related degradation of cartilage and sclerosis of subchondral bone. These results suggested that TGF-β₁ is an effective way of treating osteoarthritis of the TMJ.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Density / drug effects
  • Calcification, Physiologic / drug effects
  • Cartilage, Articular / drug effects*
  • Chondrocytes / drug effects
  • Chondrocytes / pathology
  • Coloring Agents
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Fibrocartilage / drug effects
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods
  • Injections, Intra-Articular
  • Male
  • Mandibular Condyle / diagnostic imaging
  • Mandibular Condyle / drug effects*
  • Osteoarthritis / drug therapy*
  • Phenazines
  • Proteoglycans / analysis
  • Rabbits
  • Random Allocation
  • Sclerosis
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disc / injuries
  • Temporomandibular Joint Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1 / administration & dosage*
  • X-Ray Microtomography / methods


  • Coloring Agents
  • Phenazines
  • Proteoglycans
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1
  • safranine T