Lin Xu , MD, PhD, Instructor in Developmental Biology
The Xu laboratory focuses on the pathogenesis of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) degeneration, which affects millions of people around the world. TMJ is the most used and unique joint in human body. Articular cartilage of TMJ is fibrocartilage, which is different from other joints. A question has been raised as to whether the molecular basis underlying TMJ degeneration is similar to or different from other joints. To address this question, we established a surgically induced mouse model and identified two genetic mutant mouse models for study of TMJ degeneration. We have been investigating molecular mechanisms of TMJ degeneration by use of these mouse models. Results from our study will ultimately provide valuable information in search of novel therapeutic protocols for the prevention and treatment of TMJ disorders.