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Icariin as one of the main components of Epimedium has an inhibitory effect on osteoclasts.


To further investigate the influence of icariin on the root absorption of the maxillary first molar at mesial part during orthodontic treatment in rats.


Orthodontic root resorption models were established in the left maxilla of rats. Local injection of 200 mg/kg icariin (icariin group) or normal saline (positive control group) was administrated into the left first molar buccal periosteum. The right maxilla of rats served as negative control group that was treated with neither appliance nor drug injection. The mesial distance between bilateral first molars and the contralateral maxillary incisor was measured before and after the appliance was placed. Mesial surface of the mesial root of bilateral maxillary first molars was observed using scanning electron microscope.


Mesial movement of the maxillary molars in the icariin group was significantly less than that in the positive control group (P < 0.05). Under the scanning electron microscope, small absorption lacunae were scattered in the icariin group, while the positive control group showed a large amount of absorption lacunae and they were interconnected into a sheet, showing a stark contrast with the smooth root surface of the negative control group. It is indicated that icariin can inhibit root resorption caused by orthodontic treatment, while reducing the amount of mesial movement of the molar under corrective force.

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