Comparative expression of RANK, RANKL, and OPG in keratocystic odontogenic tumors, ameloblastomas, and dentigerous cysts.

Research paper by Tarcília Aparecida TA da Silva, Aline Carvalho AC Batista, Elismauro Francisco EF Mendonça, Cláudio Rodrigues CR Leles, Sandra S Fukada, Fernando Queiroz FQ Cunha

Indexed on: 07 Dec '07Published on: 07 Dec '07Published in: Oral surgery, oral medicine, oral pathology, oral radiology, and endodontics


The aim of this study was to compare the expression of nuclear factor kappaB (RANK), RANK ligand (RANKL), and osteoprotegerin (OPG) in odontogenic epithelial tumors and dentigerous cysts.The expression of these molecules was evaluated in solid/multicystic ameloblastomas (n = 12) and unicystic ameloblastomas (n = 8), keratocystic odontogenic tumors (n = 19), dentigerous cysts (n = 9), and dental follicles (n = 9) by immunohistochemistry.In odontogenic epithelium, a similar expression of RANK, RANKL, and OPG was observed in all samples. With regard to stroma, the number of RANK-positive and RANKL-positive cells was higher in solid/multicystic ameloblastomas compared with dentigerous cysts. Dental follicles had lower numbers of RANK-positive, RANKL-positive, and OPG-positive cells than solid/multicystic ameloblastomas and keratocystic odontogenic tumors. The majority of solid/multicystic ameloblastomas (75%) and unicystic ameloblastomas (62.5%) had higher numbers of RANKL-positive than OPG-positive cells. In contrast, 62.4% of keratocystic odontogenic tumors and 100% of dentigerous cysts exhibited a higher content of OPG-positive than RANKL-positive cells.Our results indicate differences in the RANK, RANKL, and OPG expression in odontogenic epithelial tumors. The imbalance of these factors could contribute to the differential bone/tooth resorption activity in these lesions.