Odontogenic cysts are a group of common pathological lesions of the jaw. Typically, they can be found randomly on X-rays as round benign lesions. However, some of them can behave aggressively with a tendency toward malignancy. Among odontogenic cysts with benign pathology, up to 60% of all jaw cysts are radicular cysts, which originate from root canal infection. Pathogenesis involves the interaction between osteoblasts, osteocytes, and osteoclasts as well as the expression of RANK-RANKL/OPG signaling system. Furthermore, collagenases (e.g., MMPs) are expressed in epithelial lining of the cyst. Among odontogenic cysts with potentially aggressive behavior, odontogenic keratocysts (OKCs) have a high rate of recurrence and very debatable treatment options; they can be associated with Gorlin syndrome. Keratocysts have developmental origin and show variability in their gene expression profiles. Their etiology is closely related to genetic factors, especially mutations in different members of Shh signaling pathway, including PTCH gene.
Part of the book: Gene Expression and Control