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Front. Immunol. | doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.01664

Osteoimmunology of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases: Translational Applications Based on Biological Mechanisms

  • 1The Forsyth Institute, United States
  • 2Laboratory of Periodontal Biology, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Chile, Chile
  • 3Department of Conservative Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Chile, Chile
  • 4Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Traumatology, Faculty of Dentistry, Universidad de Chile, Chile
  • 5Faculty of Health Sciences, Autonomous University of Chile, Chile
  • 6INSERM U1232 Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie et Immunologie Nantes Angers (CRCINA), France
  • 7Department of Biological Sciences, University of São Paulo, Brazil
  • 8Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Finland
  • 9Department of Oral Diseases, Department of Dental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
  • 10Department of Oral Biology and Pathology, School of Dental Medicine, Stony Brook University, United States

The maxillofacial skeleton is highly dynamic and requires a constant equilibrium between the bone resorption and bone formation. The field of osteoimmunology explores the interactions between bone metabolism and the immune response, providing a context to study the complex cellular and molecular networks involved in oro-maxillofacial osteolytic diseases. In this review, we present a framework for understanding the potential mechanisms underlying the immuno-pathobiology in etiologically-diverse diseases that affect the oral and maxillofacial region and share bone destruction as their common clinical outcome. These otherwise different pathologies share similar inflammatory pathways mediated by central cellular players, such as macrophages, T and B cells, that promote the differentiation and activation of osteoclasts, ineffective or insufficient bone apposition by osteoblasts, and the continuous production of osteoclastogenic signals by immune and local stromal cells. We also present the potential translational applications of this knowledge based on the biological mechanisms involved in the inflammation-induced bone destruction. Such applications can be the development of immune-based therapies that promote bone healing/regeneration, the identification of host-derived inflammatory/collagenolytic biomarkers as diagnostics tools, the assessment of links between oral and systemic diseases; and the characterization of genetic polymorphisms in immune or bone-related genes that will help diagnosis of susceptible individuals.

Keywords: osteoimmunology, Oral, maxillofacial, Periodontal disease, biomarkers, apical peiodontitis, oral cancer, Tempormandibular joint

Received: 27 Dec 2018; Accepted: 03 Jul 2019.

Edited by:

Teun J. De Vries, Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA), VU University Amsterdam, Netherlands

Reviewed by:

Dana T. Graves, University of Pennsylvania, United States
Jérôme Bouchet, Faculté de Chirurgie dentaire, Université Paris Descartes, France  

Copyright: © 2019 Alvarez, Monasterio, Cavalla, Cordova, Hernández, Heymann, Garlet, Sorsa, Pärnänen, Lee, Golub, Vernal and Kantarci. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Alpdogan Kantarci, The Forsyth Institute, Cambridge, MA 02142, Massachusetts, United States,