Notch signaling pathway mediates alveolar bone resorption in apical periodontitis

Med Hypotheses. 2019 Mar:124:87-90. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2019.02.018. Epub 2019 Feb 4.


Apical periodontitis represents a chronic inflammatory process within periapical tissues, mostly caused by etiological agents of endodontic origin. Progressive bone resorption in the periapical region represents the hallmark of apical periodontitis and occurs as the consequence of interplay between polymicrobial infections and host response. The Notch signaling pathway is an evolutionary conserved cell-signaling system that plays an important role in a variety of cell functions including proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. In recent years its involvement in bone homeostasis has attracted a significant consideration. We hypothesized that Notch signaling pathway, which has a complex interplay with proinflammatory cytokines and bone resorption regulators, contributes to alveolar bone resorption via increased Notch receptors on immune cell surface and stimulates Notch receptor intracellular domain (NICD) translocation into the nucleus. The potential benefit of medications aimed to down-regulate these pathways in apical periodontitis treatment remains to be assessed.

MeSH terms

  • Alveolar Bone Loss / metabolism*
  • Alveolar Bone Loss / physiopathology
  • Animals
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Periapical Periodontitis / metabolism*
  • RANK Ligand / metabolism
  • Receptors, Notch / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Cytokines
  • RANK Ligand
  • Receptors, Notch
  • TNFSF11 protein, human