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National Academy of Medicine Study on Temporomandibular Disorders

The first meeting of the National Academy of Medicine Committee on Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD): From Research Discoveries to Clinical Treatment will be held Tuesday, January 29, 2019 at the National Academy of Sciences building in Washington, D.C.&

Attention Canadian TMJ Implant Patients

The Trial of the Class Action brought by Canadian patients who were implanted with Vitek Proplast TMJ implants, against Health Canada, alleging negligent regulation starts on April 1, 2019 in Toronto.

Long-term Changes in Biopsychosocial Characteristics Related to Temporomandibular Disorder: Findings from the OPPERA Study

The following article by Roger B. Fillingim, Gary D. Slade, Joel D. Greenspan, Ronald Dubner, William Maixner, Eric Bair, and Richard Ohrbach was published in the journal of Pain, November 2018. We are grateful to Dr. Fillingim for writing the following

National Academy of Medicine to Conduct a Study on Temporomandibular Disorders

We want you to be among the first to know that because of the advocacy efforts of The TMJ Association, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) will conduct a first-ever study on Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD).

Dentists in Distress

Fear of the dentist is practically a rite of passage in youth. Growing up, I wasn't exactly afraid of the dentist; rather, any excuse to leave school early was a powerful incentive. These days, I have a more complicated relationship with dentistry: I go to get answers and try to feel better, but I always pop a prophylactic ibuprofen or two in case my jaw protests from the oral gymnastics.

Stem Cell Study of Jaw Development Could Offer Insight Into Craniofacial Flaws

  • Apr 20, 2018

The following article appeared in USC University of Southern California News 

Scientists in the USC Stem Cell laboratory of Gage Crump have revealed how key genes guide the development of the jaw in zebrafish. These findings may offer clues for understanding craniofacial anomalies in human patients, who sometimes carry a mutation in equivalent genes.

A time-lapse animation shows skeletal stem cells of the embryonic zebrafish head in green and early-forming cartilaginous facial skeleton in magenta. (Video/Lindsey Barske)

In the study published in Developmental Cell, first author Lindsey Barske and colleagues reported that two related genes, called Nr2f2 and Nr2f5, pattern the jaw by regulating the timing by which stem cells generate skeletal cells.

As in our bodies, the fish skeleton generally starts out as cartilage and is later replaced by bone. However, most upper jaw bones develop without any cartilage template. Nr2f genes prevent stem cells in the developing upper jaw from becoming cartilage early on, so that they are available to make more bone later. This is in contrast to the lower jaw, where another gene called Endothelin1 (Edn1) prevents Nr2f activity and allows for the formation of extensive early cartilage that drives the outgrowth of the lower jaw.

"Our study illustrates the idea that the development of any organ requires a balance between early maturation and maintenance of stem cells. Without inhibitory signals like the Nr2f genes, there probably wouldn't be enough uncommitted precursors left over to make later-forming cell types or maintain adult tissues," said Barske, a postdoctoral fellow and winner of a prestigious Pathway to Independence Award from the National Institutes of Health.

Taking a novel approach

Prior to this work, little was known about the signals that pattern the upper jaw. The scientists took a novel genomics approach to identify new genes important for upper jaw development, carefully defining all the genes expressed during early jaw development. They then used a powerful type of genome editing to remove many of these genes from the genome, and in so doing discovered that zebrafish mutants lacking several Nr2f genes displayed a second, cartilage-based lower jaw where the upper jaw should be.

"The power of this approach is that hundreds of genes can be functionally tested in a cost-effective, rapid manner in zebrafish, thus allowing us to assign new functions for the many poorly characterized genes in the genome," said Crump, professor of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

Additional co-authors include Pauline Rataud, Kasra Behizad, Lisa Del Rio and Samuel G. Cox from USC's Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine.
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Seventy-five percent of the research was supported by $262,500 in federal funding from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (R01 DE018405, R35 DE027550 and K99 DE026239), and 25 percent by $87,500 of non-federal funding from the A.P. Giannini Foundation. The USC Office of Research and the USC Norris Medical Library funded the bioinformatics software and computing resources.

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