University of Minnesota
University Relations

Minnesota Supercomputing Institute

Log out of MyMSI

Research Abstracts Online
January 2009 - March 2010

Main TOC ....... College TOC ....... Next Abstract

University of Minnesota Twin Cities
School of Dentistry
Department of Developmental and Surgical Sciences

PI: David L. Basi

High Molecular Weight Kinogen Within Alveolar Osteitis Patients

Alveolar osteitis (AO, aka "dry socket”) is a complication following tooth extraction, characterized by severe pain and absence of a blood clot within the extraction socket. Current treatment of AO is palliative and requires repeated placement of medicated dressings into the socket. This treatment is costly to the patient and surgeon, since multiple postoperative visits are required until the AO is resolved. The true cause of dry socket is not known. Premature clot breakdown is implicated, but drugs that inhibit clot breakdown fail to prevent AO. In addition, premature clot breakdown cannot explain the severe pain associated with AO. An alternative hypothesis, therefore, is needed.

This research will test the hypothesis that high molecular weight kinogen (HK) levels are increased in saliva from AO patients. During inflammation, HK is cleaved to form bradykinin and a cofactor, HKa. Bradykinin is a potent mediator of pain. HKa is involved in the activation of the clot breakdown system. Therefore, increased HK could account for the severe pain and clot loss found in patients with dry socket. To directly test the hypothesis, saliva samples will be taken from non- and AO patients and analyzed by a quantitative proteomic method for the presence of HK, bradykinin, and fibrin breakdown products. Whole human saliva will be used, since it is easily collected in a clinic in a non-invasive way. The saliva samples will be tested for HK, bradykinin and byproducts of clot breakdown and compared (non- vs. AO). If the hypothesis is valid, it is expected that the quantity of HK, bradykinin, and clot breakdown byproducts to be increased in saliva from AO patients compared to patients without clinical signs of AO. This would lead to effective therapies that may prevent AO.