2019 Volume 42 Issue 4 Pages 538-542
Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are a common stomatognathic disease affecting all age groups. Patients with internal derangement (ID) or osteoarthritis (OA) of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) often have TMJ synovitis. When TMJ synovial membrane is damaged, many inflammatory cytokines are produced and secreted from TMJ synoviocytes to synovial fluid of TMJ. It has been widely reported that many kinds of biologic factors are produced from TMJ synoviocytes stimulated with interleukin (IL)-1beta and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha. One of the major symptoms of TMD is pain of the TMJ. Many study groups have studied relations between the development of TMJ pain and biologic factors secreted into synovial fluid of TMJ. Here, we summarize previous reports trying to elucidate this correlation. On the other hand, it has been reported that a new molecular mechanism of IL-1beta secretion called inflammasome is involved in several diseases with sterile inflammation. Because TMJ synovitis with ID and OA of TMJ is also sterile inflammation, inflammasome may be involved in the development of TMJ synovial inflammation. This review describes some molecular mechanisms underlying inflammation in TMJ, especially in TMJ synovitis, which may be useful for the development of new therapies against TMD.