Bone and cartilage metabolism is known to be more active during rest than during periods of activity. The purpose of this study was to examine the hypothesis that mandibular retractive force could be more effective when applied to rats during rest. Mandibular retractive force caused a considerable reduction in the condylar length in experimental groups, and the magnitude of this reduction was greater in the Light-period (08:00-20:00) group than in the Dark-period (20:00-08:00) group. The differentiation and proliferation of chondrocytes were inhibited in animals in the Light-period group, compared with those in the Dark-period group. These results suggest that the orthopedic effects of mandibular retractive force vary depending on the time of day the force is applied, and that such force may be more effective while animals are resting than while they are active.
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