Now showing items 1-20 of 1121


      Mannon, Elinor; Department of Philosophy (Augusta University, 2021-10)
      Sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) is a therapeutic used in chronic kidney disease (CKD). NaHCO3 is typically used to treat metabolic acidosis, but clinical studies have indicated that NaHCO3 supplementation may slow CKD progression. As such, NaHCO3 is now given to patients with CKD to slow the decline of glomerular filtration rate. However, the consequences of chronic NaHCO3 supplementation in CKD remain unclear. Acidosis has been associated with insulin resistance, and correction of acidosis with NaHCO3 was reported to improve insulin sensitivity. Our goal in Aim 1 was to determine whether acid and alkali loading would promote loss of acid-base homeostasis and consequently decrease insulin sensitivity. We determined that the blood glucose response to insulin is enhanced following renal mass reduction, and that this response is not reversed by an acidosis. Additionally, the development of an alkalosis did not impair the blood glucose response to insulin. Alkali can promote potassium (K+) wasting, and an association between K+ wasting and insulin resistance has been identified in clinical and basic science research. Our goal in Aim 2 was to identify whether chronic NaHCO3 treatment may promote loss of insulin sensitivity through effects on K+ status. We determined that chronic NaHCO3 treatment impairs insulin sensitivity when combined with other K+ wasting stimuli. K+ deprivation alone also impaired the blood glucose response to insulin, however these impairments in insulin sensitivity were not directly related to decreases in intracellular [K+]. Salt-sensitivity increases as functional renal mass declines, and chronic sodium (Na+) loading with NaHCO3 may contribute to hypertension in patients with CKD. Our goal in Aim 3 was to investigate whether NaHCO3 loading promotes similar levels of Na+ and volume retention, and hypertension as sodium chloride (NaCl) loading does in a rat model of CKD. We found that NaHCO3 was pro-hypertensive, but to a lesser degree than NaCl, despite similar amounts of Na+ and volume retention. From these studies we concluded that NaHCO3 does not improve insulin sensitivity through its effects on acid-base status. Further, access to dietary K+ may improve insulin sensitivity with chronic NaHCO3 treatment. Finally, NaHCO3 can promote hypertension in CKD.
    • Evidence to Support Environmental and Contextual Modifications to Improve Participation in Community Events for Children with Disabilities

      Howell, Alexis; Priest, Teri; Sandy, Emily; Williams, Meghan; Kearney, Pamalyn; Rosche, Mallory; Department of Occupational Therapy (Augusta University, 2021-09)
      • Current literature has shown that children with disabilities participate less often and are not as engaged when participating compared to children without disabilities • This lack of participation might occur due to the interaction between environmental, attitudinal, and social barriers at home, at work, and during play • Participation allows children to learn about societal expectations, appropriate communication with others, develop friendships and skills they need to become successful at home, in communities, and in life • Participation is regarded as an essential aspect of child health and well being • This study aims to determine what evidence is available to support modifications to environments and contexts to improve participation in community events for children with disabilities under the age of 18.
    • Evidence Related to Setting, Structure, and Outcomes of Occupational Therapy Nontraditional Level II Fieldwork: A Scoping Review

      Graham, Maggie; Hartman, Kylee; LeMasters, MacKenzie; Moore, Brette; Reed, Lilly; Thrysoe, Gitte; Vera, Laurie; Kearney, Pamalyn; Department of Occupational Therapy (Augusta University, 2021-09)
      Definition: Nontraditional Fieldwork (NTFW): Site where OT services may be unavailable prior to implementation • May be supervised by an employee of organization1 or an OT • ACOTE: full time FW hours for 24 weeks graduation eligibility2 Gaps in the literature include: • Definition of NTFW • Amount of supervision • Sample size variations between traditional FW and NTFW • How students engage with patients in NTFW settings • Information to support and inform all stakeholders about difficulties in NTFW settings • Results on student educational success in NTFW Purpose: to address the gap in the literature by looking at widely available sources to provide relevant insight into nontraditional Level II Fieldwork for the interested audience.
    • Assessments Evaluating the Relationship Between Psychosocial Factors and Upper Extremity Trauma: A Scoping Review

      Coleman, Isabelle; Glaze, Morgan; Griffin, Caroline; Holbrooks, Sarah Beth; Moore, Kristen; Department of Occupational Therapy (Augusta University, 2021-09)
      Objectives of Presentation: At the conclusion of this presentation, attendees will: ● Identify 3 current assessments available that evaluate the psychosocial components of upper extremity (UE) recovery after trauma. ● Discuss 3 of the most common types of psychosocial challenges often experienced by individuals with UE trauma. Clinical/Research Question: What assessments are available for examining the relationships between psychosocial factors and UE trauma during rehabilitation of adults with UE trauma?
    • A Scoping Review of International Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Evidence

      Smith, Gloria; Holton, Emily; Peeler, Michaela; Stancil, Reagan; Johnson, Stephanie; Department of Occupational Therapy (Augusta University, 2021-09)
      • Gap in literature: Best practices for allied health international interprofessional collaboration and education • Collaboration better coordinates interprofessional care for best patient centered focus. • Interprofessional education improves health outcomes, sets foundation for future health care professionals, and provides basis for communication, collaboration, and patient care. • Allied Health Professions: Those which require practitioners to attend a higher level institution, obtain a certificate, and work collaboratively with other healthcare professionals to provide care to individuals suffering from acute and chronic diseases, rehabilitation services, and dietary and nutrition services in several settings. Research Question: Among allied health science disciplines, what is the evidence supporting outcomes as related to international interprofessional education and collaborative experiences?
    • Intraprofessional Educational Activities Implemented by Occupational Therapy Programs in the United States

      Eller, Sydney; Morris, Emma; Parker, Olivia; Ruble, Charlotte; Speciale, Natalie; Usry, Jenna; Watford, Patricia; Department of Occupational Therapy (Augusta University, 2021-09)
      ● Intraprofessional collaboration has been shown to increase:2. 3 ○Confidence ○Patient care ○Ethical compliance ○Cost-effective care ●The accrediting body for occupational therapy education, ACOTE, requires that OT and OTA programs address: ○Intraprofessionalcollaboration ○How to engage in the consultative process, evaluation process, and treatment process with their intraprofessionalcolleagues.1 ●An unpublished survey from 2019 found that 68% of programs included intraprofessional collaboration in their curriculum4despite requirements from ACOTE.1 ●Our research questions are: What is the prevalence of intraprofessional collaboration in occupational therapy education programs and what strategies are used to implement intraprofessional activities?
    • Perceptions of International Fieldwork Experiences on Professional and Personal Development for Occupational Therapy Students

      Bauknight, Rebekah; Cutcliff, Kelley; Ford, Emma; Lenz, Kendall; Long, Cassidy; Swift, Sharon; Department of Occupational Therapy (Augusta University, 2021-09)
      The Augusta University Occupational Therapy Program offers two Level I international fieldwork experiences (IFEs) to Jamaica each year. One IFE is offered early in the curriculum, while the other is offered later. •Existing research demonstrates that International Educational Experiences (IEEs) allow students to develop: •Valuable personal and professional skills.1 •Improved communication, patient care, and adaptability.2 •Autonomy and lifelong learning.3 •Previous work from students at Augusta University evaluated differences between domestic and international occupational therapy students’ perceptions on Level I international fieldwork.4,5 •Images 1-3 demonstrate student engagement with clients during the IFE, and demonstrate previous findings that overall, the IFE was found to more greatly impact student’s perceived personal and professional development than domestic FW. •Further research is needed to determine if the amount of credit hours obtained prior to the IFE has an impact on students’ perceived development. The purpose of this studywas to compare Early Program Participants’ (EPPs) perceptions versus Later Program Participants’ (LPPs) perceptions of the Level I IFE on their personal and professional development. •EPPs: 14 credit hours obtained prior to the trip. •LPPs: 32+ credit hours obtained prior to the trip. Hypothesis: LPPs’ average scores pertaining to perceived personal and professional development would be greater than EPPs’ due to advancement in the curriculum, allowing for increased opportunities to gain confidence and apply OT knowledge.
    • Prevalence of Holistic Admission Criteria Among Entry-Level Occupational Therapy Programs

      Taylor, Kristian; Nguyen, Cat-Tien; Grant, Jenny; Brewster, Mary Beth; Barrett, Mary Alice; Benevides, Teal; Cosper, Sharon M.; Department of Occupational Therapy (Augusta University, 2021-09)
      Objectives of Presentation: At the conclusion of this poster, attendees will: 1. Describe the difference between holistic admissions and academic metric- only procedures implemented by entry-level occupational therapy programs. 2. Discuss the relationship between implementation of holistic admissions criteria and entry-level occupational therapy program ranking. Research Purpose: The purpose of this study is to compare the holistic admissions criteria used by the top fifty ranked entry-level occupational therapy master’s and doctoral programs to the fifty lowest ranked programs.
    • Disparities in Autism Educational Classification in the United States: A Summary of Public-School Data in Three States in Autism Educational Classification in the United States: A Summary of Public-School Data in Three States

      Bevil, Bailey; Breitmann, Shelby; Dyals, Bethany; Franke, Catherine; Hassett, Anna; Padgett, Gracie; Benevides, Teal; Department of Occupational Therapy (Augusta University, 2021-09)
      • Problem: Limited research exists to describe and understand disparities in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) classification across counties in the United States. A classification of ASD is valuable as it provides the child with greater access and provision of resources both within and outside of the school system. • Research has shown that definitions and evaluation procedures vary among states (Pennington et al, 2014). • Some individuals who have autism spectrum disorder do not obtain a diagnosis of ASD until they are into their adolescence or adulthood (Centers of Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2020). • Early intervention for autism spectrum disorder can increase positive outcomes (CDC, 2020). • Only 58% of children who meet the criteria for a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder have it documented in their education or health records (Mandell et al, 2009). • Purpose Statement: This study sought to collect data demonstrating ASD disparities in three states, Massachusetts, Louisiana, and New York, in the United States as it relates to classification and accessibility to school-based services.

      Li, Jiaqi; Department of Physiology (Augusta University, 2021-07)
      Drug combination therapies can improve drug efficacy, reduce drug dosage, and overcome drug resistance with respect to cancer treatments. Current research strategies to determine which drug combinations have a synergistic effect rely mainly on clinical or empirical experience and screening predefined pools of drugs. Given the number of possible drug combinations, the speed and scope to find new drug combinations are very limited using these methods. Due to the exponential growth in these combinatorials, it is difficult to test all possible outcomes in the lab. Several large-scale public genomic and phenotypic resources that provide data from single drug-treated cells as well as data from small molecules deliver a wealth of cellular response information. This data gives opportunity to overcome limitations of the current methods. The development of a new strategy for advanced data processing and analysis that includes a computational prediction algorithm is highly desirable. Because of this, a program was written that predicts synergistic drug combinations using gene regulatory network knowledge and an operational module unit (OMU) system generated from single drug genomic and phenotypic data. As a proof of principle, we applied the pipeline to a group of anticancer drugs and demonstrated how the algorithm could help researchers efficiently find possible synergistic drug combinations using single drug data to evaluate all possible drug pairs.
    • Associations Between Social Determinants of Health and Net Stress

      Lassiter, Debbie Jo; Department of Physiological & Technological Nursing (Augusta University, 2021-12)
      Stress is known to cause dire physical and mental health outcomes. Extant stress research has lacked a subjective rapid screening tool for further evaluation of high risk individuals. Net stress is a new construct developed in this study as the calculation of an individual’s perceived average stress level compared with their perceived healthy stress level. Measuring net stress provides an additional construct to identify health disparities among individuals at potential risk for mental and physical illness. The two aims were first to develop the net stress construct and secondly to examine and evaluate the relationships between net stress and Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) domain variables from the 2018 Stress in AmericaTM survey developed by APA and The Harris Poll survey and analytics group. The five SDoH domains developed by Healthy People 2020 were Neighborhood and Built Environment, Health and Health Care, Social and Community Context, Education, and Economic Stability. The methods included an exploratory, secondary analysis which included multiple regression to test whether net stress would respond predictably as a valid, new construct within the sample from the survey (N = 3,091). Net stress was regressed on the groups of variables for each domain, then on a model with all variables to determine if there were substantial differences in how net stress responded. Conclusions for this study were that four of the five domains, excepting Education, had substantial associations (0.25 standard deviation) with net stress. Using slightly less restrictive criteria, net stress was associated with variables from all five SDoH domains. Results were that net stress responded as a valid, new construct within this analysis. This study found that individuals with the following circumstances had substantially higher net stress levels: larger household size up to eight residents, single parent family structure, having no insurance, having a low perceived health level, being of bisexual orientation, being female, and having low household income. The Economic Stability domain impacted all other domains. Implications for future research, healthcare practice, nursing theory, and policy were discussed.
    • Belief in Research, Religious Coping, and Willingness to Participate in Clinical Trials among African Americans with Hematologic Malignancies

      Petty, Marjorie Elizabeth; Department of Physiological & Technological Nursing (Augusta University, 2021-12)
      African Americans (AAs) are disproportionately affected by certain types of hematologic malignancies. Despite the efforts of investigators, AAs with hematologic malignancies remain grossly underrepresented in cancer clinical trials. Few studies have evaluated the underrepresentation of this subgroup of patients in the context of their willingness to participate in clinical trials. Yet, willingness to participate in cancer clinical trials among AAs with solid tumors is well documented. The aims of the present study were to determine if a relationship exists between belief in research and willingness to participate in clinical trials and determine if religious coping moderates the relationship between belief in research and willingness to participate in clinical trials. To address the aims, data on religious coping were captured at one time-point using the validated Brief RCOPE scale and also using researcher-generated questions that addressed beliefs associated with research and willingness to participate in cancer clinical trials. The results reported here show there was no statistical difference between belief in research and willingness to participate in clinical trials, and religious coping did not moderate the effect of belief in research on willingness to participate in clinical trials. Statistically significant differences were found between education and belief in research. Participants with less than a high school education had lower belief in research scores than those with some college education, who showed higher belief in research scores. These findings provide preliminary results that suggest future studies are warranted in the study of AAs' beliefs in research. Such studies may contribute to the development of educational interventions to improve the recruitment of AAs with hematologic malignancies into the therapeutic clinical trials for these diseases, with a particular emphasis on educational interventions for those AAs with less than high school education. The study highlights the need for researchers to develop tailored educational approaches on cancer clinical trials for AAs with less than high school education. Such considerations may improve patients’ decision-making and access to novel therapies that could benefit the individual and others. Furthermore, researchers need to assess religious coping methods and develop tailored religious coping strategies that can be implemented into the clinical setting for AAs with hematologic malignancies. Tailored religious coping strategies could improve patient wellness and minimize the consequences of maladaptive religious coping (Pargament et al., 2011) among AAs with hematologic malignancies. Keywords: African American, hematologic malignancies, cancer clinical trial

      Claussen, Henry; Department of Physiology (Augusta University, 2021-07)
      The collection and order of nucleobases in a strand of DNA, called the primary sequence, is one of the most important pieces of information in the study of the human body. The proteins which regulate all biological functions in the body are synthesized based on the structure of the DNA molecule. The next generation sequencing (NGS) process of sequencing RNA transcripts, known as RNA-seq, has become a powerful alternative to traditional microarray technology. NGS is used to measure the levels of gene expression, detect structural DNA variations from the human reference genome, and uncover the epigenetic modifications of methylation. Despite its prevalence in genetic research, RNA-seq data suffers from the statistical complication known as ”large p small n” where the predictor variables greatly outnumber the subjects in a study. In this research we propose combining all three types of data into a multivariate linear model. With the implementation of a variable selection process for preliminary dimension reduction and the application of a Group LASSOapproach, we hope to reduce the complexity and dimension of NGS data to a manageable and, most importantly, interpretable level. Changes in gene expression levels have been linked with the development of harmful diseases such as cancer. A successful model will provide insight on the simultaneous effects that methylation and structural variation have on gene expression in the body.
    • Predictive Inference for Linear and Circular Concomitants with Biomedical Applications

      Howie, Melissa; Department of Philosophy (Augusta University, 2021-07)
      Let (X_i, Y_i), for i=1,...,n, be a random sample from a bivariate distribution. If the sample is ordered with respect to one of the variables, say X, then the rth ordered X-value is called the rth order statistic and is denoted X_{r:n}. The Y-value corresponding to this value is called the concomitant of the rth order statistic and is denoted Y_{[r:n]}. In biomedical research, there is an interest in predicting the concomitant variable corresponding to the rth order statistic of the other variable. For example, one may be interested in predicting the time at which a patient has the peak blood pressure or the mercury level in fish where the water is most polluted. One such distribution of interest is the bivariate exponential conditionals distribution (BEC), whose conditional distributions are both exponential. The asymptotic predictive distribution of the concomitants of order statistics from the BEC is derived. The results are used in a prediction problem involving the mercury concentration in largemouth bass sampled from Florida lakes, as a function of surface water pollution level. Clinicians are often confronted with data such that one variable is linear and the other variable is circular, i.e., measured as an angle. A particular linear-circular distribution of interest is the exponential circular normal distribution. The predictive distribution of concomitants of order statistics from the exponential circular normal distribution is derived. The results are applied to predicting the future value of time at maximum heart rate in subjects from the Augusta Heart Study, a longitudinal study of normotensive children with verified family histories of cardiovascular diseases (e.g., hypertension and premature myocardial infarction).
    • Social Determinants of Health Associated with Parental Hesitancy and Teen Human Papillomavirus Immunization

      Lee, Seth; Department of Physiological & Technological Nursing (Augusta University, 2021-08)
      Background: Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most prevalent sexually transmitted infection in the United States. HPV-preventive vaccination of teens may be blocked by parental hesitancy, related to negative social determinants of health in the community. Parental hesitancy is one of the most significant barriers to increasing teen HPV vaccine uptake. Aims: The first aim was to determine associations among social determinants of health domain variables and parent-reported vaccine hesitancy of HPV immunization. The second aim was to determine the model that best explains how social determinants of health affect parental vaccine hesitancy of HPV immunization for each of the five reasons not to vaccinate. Methods: This quantitative retrospective study used logistic regression to examine relationships among parent-reported reasons not to vaccinate teens and selected social determinants of health variables utilizing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Immunization Survey-Teen 2018. Variable selection was guided by the Social Determinants of Health Framework, categorized into five key domains: economic stability, education, social and community context, health and healthcare, and neighborhood and built environment (N = 7480). Results: Bivariate associations emerged across reasons not to vaccinate; the most frequent associations included variables such as the education level of a teen's mother and language of the survey interview. Models from multivariable regression with backward elimination indicated that key issues within the domains of education, health and healthcare, and social and community context were associated with parental hesitancy of HPV immunization. Conclusion: Stakeholders should focus on key issues within the domains of education, health and healthcare, and social and community context when designing policy and providing HPV immunization to teens. Taken holistically, key issues within the domains of education, health and healthcare, and social and community context are more likely to lead to vaccine hesitancy based on the findings in this study and require an approach tailored to the needs of the community and its residents. More research is needed to verify these results.

      Kodeboyina, Sai Karthik; Department of Physiology (Augusta University, 2021-05)
      Aqueous humor (AH) is a fluid in the anterior and posterior chambers of the eye that contains proteins associated with vision disorders including glaucoma. We performed comprehensive characterization of AH proteins and evaluated their association with optic nerve and visual field changes in glaucoma patients. AH reference database was developed to include proteomic and clinical information from cataract and glaucoma patients. Aqueous humor samples from 251 cataract and glaucoma patients were analyzed using Liquid-Chromatography Mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness was evaluated with the SPECTRALIS Tracking Laser Tomography. Optic nerve head imaging was performed using Heidelberg Retinal Tomograph (HRT). Visual fields were analyzed with the Humphrey Visual Field analyzer. Statistical analyses were performed to discover the relationship between AH proteins and demographic characteristics, RNFL, optic nerve, and visual field parameters. AH reference database and website was developed using standard software tools including Visual Studio, ASP.NET, SQL, C#, and HTML. A total of 1774 unique proteins were identified in 251 AH samples of which 233 proteins were expressed in at least half of samples. Five protein families were discovered including apolipoproteins, complements, immunoglobulins, serine protease inhibitors (SERPINS) and insulin like growth factors (IGF). A total of 38 proteins significantly correlated with at least one RNFL thickness measure including average, inferior and superior thicknesses. Similarly, 62 proteins significantly associated with at least one HRT parameter such as cup shape measure, cup-disc area ratio and rim area. A total of 11, 9, 7, and 6 proteins were significantly correlated with pattern standard deviation, visual field index, mean deviation, and glaucoma hemifield test respectively. Strongly associated proteins include APOD, APOH, C4A, C4B, C7, IKHV3-9, IGKV2-28, SERPINA1, SERPINF1, IGFBP6, and IGFBP7. They are involved in immune responses, signaling, binding, and metabolic functions. These findings provide targets for future studies investigating molecular mechanisms and new therapies for glaucoma. Moreover, the database would serve as a resource for researchers pursuing AH proteomic and glaucoma studies.
    • Ibuprofen Conjugates as Potential Anti-Inflammatory Drug Candidates

      Wade, Margaret; Department of Chemistry and Physics (Augusta University, 2021-05)
      Inflammation is a common immune response to harmful pathogens or damaged cells. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NAIDs) are commonly used to treat inflammation and pain. These drugs can also be used to treat inflammation due to diseases such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease. NSAIDs accomplish this through the inhibition of the cyclooxygenase (COX) enzyme systems. Selectivity for the inhibition of the COX-2 pathway is an aim in the development of NSAIDs. The COX-2 enzyme predominates at sites of inflammation and releases enzymes responsible for vasodilation. While the inhibition of the COX-1 pathway results in adverse side effects, such as gastric lesions and perforation. The current drug design process has focused on modifying existing NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen. In the current study, conjugates of ibuprofen were developed by incorporating triazole ring in the conjugated molecules through a ‘click’ chemistry approach. The anti-inflammatory properties of the conjugates were evaluated using the carrageenan-induced paw edema method.
    • Design and Synthesis of Metformin Derivatives as Anticancer Agents

      Thomas, Eyana; Department of Biological Sciences (Augusta University, 2021-05)
      Metformin is the first-line medication for type II diabetes. It initially entered the spotlight as a promising anti-cancer agent due to epidemiologic reports that reduced cancer risk and improved clinical outcomes in diabetic patients taking Metformin. To uncover the anti-cancer mechanisms of Metformin, preclinical studies determined that Metformin impairs cellular metabolism and suppresses oncogenic signaling pathways. Recently, the anti-cancer potential of Metformin has gained increasing interest due to its inhibitory effects on cancer stem cells (CSCs), which are associated with tumor metastasis, drug resistance, and relapse. There is a need to optimize this drug to target a more general audience of non-diabetic cancer patients. Metformin has low bioavailability, a narrow absorption window, and extensive liver metabolism. Its oral administration is accompanied by gastrointestinal adverse effects, including nausea, abdominal pain, abdominal bloating, flatulence, dyspepsia, and anorexia, resulting in up to 50% of patients. We have synthesized metformin hybrid conjugates with aromatics compounds. Spectral studies characterized all the synthesized compounds. The hybrid conjugates showed improved LogP values, determined from computational analyses, over tenfold of Metformin's 0.15, suggesting that these candidates will show better bioavailability in the body.
    • The examination of tianeptine as a possible treatment for traumatic brain injury

      Ravula, Havilah; Department of Psychological Sciences (Augusta University, 2021-05)
      Tianeptine is an analgesic, antidepressant drug that has been previously studied for its benefits in improving recovery conditions in rodent models post injury or stress. In particular, it is of interest in the treatment of traumatic brain injury in humans, especially since there is currently no reliable treatment for human TBI patients. This project examined tianeptine’s efficacy in reducing ventricular enlargement in rodent models caused by TBI. Brain tissue samples were collected from the rodents and studied and the average areas of the lateral ventricle region were compared. The study found that, when administered to rodents with TBI, tianeptine treatments, while not significantly different, showed a strong trend for smaller ventricular areas when compared to saline vehicle treatments; overall, the ventricular area was smallest in rodents with sham surgeries and tianeptine treatments. In rodent models, tianeptine may be beneficial in reducing ventricular enlargement caused by TBI. It is worth exploring the anti-inflammatory benefits of tianeptine for its use as a treatment for TBI.
    • Role of Dendritic Cells in Post-Extraction Alveolar Bone Healing

      Patel, Jaimini; Department of Biological Sciences (Augusta University, 2021-05)
      Dendritic cells (DCs) are considered the main antigen presenting cells in the body. They are an essential link between innate and adaptive immunity. The plasticity of DCs allows them to initiate an immune response against foreign antigens while maintaining tolerance to commensal microbes. DCs have been recognized as important players in osteoimmunology through their role in regulation of inflammation-induced bone loss. DCs have been identified in inflammatory synovial and periodontal tissues, where they interact with activated T cells to form aggregates called lymphoid foci. DCs have shown an indirect role in inflammation-induced bone loss through activation of RANKL-producing T cells. However, a direct role has also been implicated through the ability of some DC subsets to transdifferentiate into osteoclasts. Although the role of DCs in inflammation-induced bone loss is well recognized, their role in alveolar bone healing and repair remains to be elucidated. We hypothesize here that ablation of DCs in the oral microenvironment will have a negative effect on alveolar bone healing following a maxillary molar extraction in mice due to disruption of osteo-immune homeostasis. Our hypothesis was tested using a classical dendritic cell ablation mouse model, in transgenic Zbtb46 tm1 (DTR)Mnz/J (ZDC-DTR) mice, which are rendered DC deficient by diphtheria toxin injection. Histological analysis of photomicrographs of bone sections at the extraction sites showed a significant increase in osteocyte death in the DC-deficient animals compared to wild type (WT) animals which had normal DC number and activity. Further, the animals deficient in DCs showed less bone regeneration in the extraction socket compared with WT animals. Our results shed light on the important role of DCs in post-extraction homeostasis of alveolar bone healing, allowing for a better understanding of the complex biological process of bone healing.