Comparative immunohistochemical expression of RANK, RANKL and OPG in radicular and dentigerous cysts.

Research paper by Maiara M de Moraes, Hévio Freitas HF de Lucena, Paulo Roberto Medeiros PR de Azevedo, Lélia Maria Guedes LM Queiroz, Antonio de Lisboa Lopes Ade L Costa

Indexed on: 21 Jun '11Published on: 21 Jun '11Published in: Archives of Oral Biology


Receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB (RANK), RANK ligand (RANKL) and osteoprotegerin (OPG) are members of the superfamily of ligands and receptors of tumour necrosis factor family involved in bone metabolism. The formation, differentiation and activity of osteoclasts are regulated by these proteins. To clarify the roles of osteoclast regulatory factors in cystic expansion of odontogenic cysts, expression of these proteins were analysed in radicular and dentigerous cysts.The immunohistochemistry expression of these biomarkers were evaluated and measured in lining epithelium and fibrous capsule of the radicular (n=20) and dentigerous cysts (n=20).A similar expression in lining epithelium was observed in the lesions. The fibrous capsule of dentigerous cyst showed a higher content of RANK-positive and RANKL-positive cells than fibrous capsule of radicular cyst. In the lining epithelium the RANKL/OPG ratio showed higher numbers of OPG-positive than RANKL-positive cells, whereas fibrous capsule of the cysts had a tendency to present a similar expression (OPG=RANKL).Ours findings indicate the presence of RANK, RANKL and OPG in cysts. Moreover, increased expression of OPG compared to RANKL in the lining epithelium could contribute to the differential bone resorption activity in theses lesions.