The effects of tumour necrosis factor-α on bone cells involved in periodontal alveolar bone loss; osteoclasts, osteoblasts and osteocytes

K. Algate, D. R. Haynes, P. M. Bartold, T. N. Crotti, M. D. Cantley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


Periodontitis is the most common bone loss pathology in adults and if left untreated is responsible for premature tooth loss. Cytokines, such as tumour necrosis factor-α (TNFα), involved in the chronic inflammatory response within the periodontal gingiva, significantly influence the normal bone remodelling processes. In this review, the effects of TNFα on bone metabolism in periodontitis are evaluated in relation to its direct and indirect actions on bone cells including osteoclasts, osteoblasts and osteocytes. Evidence published to date suggests a potent catabolic role for TNFα through the stimulation of osteoclastic bone resorption as well as the suppression of osteoblastic bone formation and osteocytic survival. However, the extent and timing of TNFα exposure in vitro and in vivo greatly influences its effect on skeletal cells, with contradictory anabolic activity observed with TNFα in a number of studies. None the less, it is evident that managing the chronic inflammatory response in addition to the deregulated bone metabolism is required to improve periodontal and inflammatory bone loss treatments‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)549-566
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Periodontal Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Oct 2016


  • bone metabolism
  • inflammation
  • periodontitis
  • tumour necrosis factor-α

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics

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