Abrupt changes in oxygen availability within the periodontium have been suggested to have a regulatory role in alveolar bone remodeling during tooth movement; arguably, similar to that seen in bone growth or fracture healing. The purpose of this investigation was therefore to study the effects of ambient hypoxia and hyperoxia on osteoblast function in vitro. Osteoblast-enriched cultures from fetal rat calvariae were exposed to atmospheres of hyperoxia (90% O2) and hypoxia (10% O2) and assayed for media pH, PO2, pCO2, cellular proliferation, alkaline phosphatase (AP) activity, and collagen synthesis. Results of this study show that in low ambient oxygen tension cellular proliferation increases, whereas the AP activity, collagen synthesis, media PO2, PCO2decreases. In contrast, in hyperoxic conditions cellular proliferation is suppressed with concomitant increases in: AP activity, collagen synthesis, and partial pressures for oxygen and carbon dioxide. Media pH remained unaffected. In crossover experiments, where cells were initially grown in hypoxic conditions and were switched to hyperoxic conditions, their metabolic activities were abruptly reversed. These findings in conjunction with earlier reports, suggest a triggering role for oxygen tension (an environmental factor) in bone remodeling. (AM J ORTHOD DENTOFAC ORTHOP 1994;105:457-63.). © 1997.
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