Ameloblastoma is the most common benign odontogenic tumor in Japan. It is believed that it expands in the jaw bone through peritumoral activation of osteoclasts by receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL) released from the ameloblastoma, as in bone metastases of cancer cells. However, the clinical features of ameloblastoma, including its growth rate and patterns of invasion, are quite different from those of bone metastasis of cancer cells, suggesting that different underlying mechanisms are involved. Therefore, in the present study, we examined the possible mechanisms underlying the invasive expansion of ameloblastoma in the jaw bone. Expression levels of RANKL assessed by western blotting were markedly lower in ameloblastoma (AM-1) cells than in highly metastatic oral squamous cell carcinoma (HSC-3) cells. Experiments coculturing mouse macrophages (RAW264.7) with AM-1 demonstrated low osteoclastogenic activity, as assessed by tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP)-positive multinuclear cell formation, probably because of low release of RANKL, whereas cocultures of RAW264.7 with HSC-3 cells exhibited very high osteoclastogenic activity. Thus, RANKL release from AM-1 appeared to be too low to generate osteoclasts. However, AM-1 cultured directly on calcium phosphate-coated plates formed resorption pits, and this was inhibited by application of bafilomycin A1. Furthermore, vacuolar-type H+-ATPase (V-ATPase) and H+/Cl- exchange transporter 7 (CLC-7) were detected on the surface of AM-1 cells by plasma membrane biotinylation and immunofluorescence analysis. Immunohistochemical analysis of clinical samples of ameloblastoma also showed plasma membrane-localized V-ATPase and CLC-7 in the epithelium of plexiform, follicular and basal cell types. The demineralization activity of AM-1 was only 1.7% of osteoclasts demineralization activity, and the growth rate was 20% of human normal skin keratinocytes and HSC-3 cells. These results suggest that the slow expansion of several typical types of ameloblastomas in jaw bone is attributable to its slow growth and low demineralization ability.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research