Novel Therapy May Relieve Temporomandibular Joint Pain
University of Connecticut scientists are studying medications called senolytics that are designed to target and kill damaged cells — called senescent cells—that cause inflammation and damage to surrounding healthy cells.
University of Connecticut scientists are studying medications called senolytics that are designed to target and kill damaged cells — called senescent cells — that cause inflammation and damage to surrounding healthy cells. If senolytics work as intended, the treatment may be helpful in alleviating temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems by removing senescent cells.
In their study, investigators gave 24-month-old mice a combination regimen of dasatinib and quercetin for six weeks. Following the study period, the subjects’ cartilage and bone more closely resembled that of 4-month-old mice; specifically, the mandibular condylar cartilage had become thicker and the bone smoother in the jaw joints of the older mice.
In comparison, senolytics had little effect on 4-month-old mice, indicating age-specific benefits. The authors suggest this provides “proof-of-concept that age-related TMJ degeneration can be alleviated by pharmaceutical intervention targeting cellular senescence.” The team further asserts these findings may help justify future clinical trials addressing TMJ degeneration with this novel therapy. The report, “Senolytics Alleviate the Degenerative Disorders of Temporomandibular Joint in Old Age,” appears in Aging Cell.
From Decisions in Dentistry. September 2021;7(9)8.