Institute of Dentistry

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Dr Simon Rawlinson, BSc (Hons), PhD

Senior Lecturer in Oral Biology

Telephone: +44 20 7882 7139
Room Number: Blizard Building


Research Technician: Bone Unit, The Royal Veterinary College 1986-2000, during this period the group was at the forefront of loadable bone organ culture model development and use. These had the advantage of maintaining the correct ratio of osteoblasts to osteocytes attached to their natural substrate in appropriate 3D orientation. 1999 PhD Veterinary Anatomy, 'Early loading-related responses of resident cells in mammalian bone organ explants'. In the mid-90s loadable cell culture models allowed for the study of cell monocultures to be investigated. At this time I became interested in the apparent disparity of bone mass and mechanical usage of the skull and limb. Research Associate: Bone Unit, The Royal Veterinary College 2000-2003.

Research Associate: Queen Mary University of London, Barts & The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Institute of Dentistry 2003-2009. In collaboration with staff at the IOD, we investigated the mechanical responsiveness of the mandible and compared the gene profiles of the skull, limb and mandible. This has led us to consider the mechanism by which bone mass is normally maintained at status quo levels. Lecturer: Queen Mary University of London, Barts & The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Institute of Dentistry 2009 to present. I teach on the 1st Year BDS course and I am the subject convenor for the Respiratory, Cardiovascular and Renal module, a module co-convenor for the MSc Oral Biology course and teach on the MSc Experimental Oral Pathology and intercalated BSc Oral Biology courses.


Research Interests:

The majority of my research has concentrated on the response of limb bone cells in situ to applied, physiological, dynamic mechanical loads with the objective of gaining an insight to the mechanotransduction consequences to usage. The focus changed to investigate how bone mass is preserved in the skull where mechanical loads are low (so low that they would initiate a disuse osteoporosis in the limb). Subsequently, interest has shifted to identify inherent differences between positionally distinct limb and skull bone, and the underlying reasons for any such differences. The locally encoded positional identity is thought ensure like-for-like repair. Mandibular bone has become a site of interest as it seems to possess both limb and skull like properties to the consequences to mechanical loading.

The role of tissue engineering as a means to repair the body has recognised potential for improving patient well-being. I also have interests in the growth and behaviour of bone forming osteoblasts seeded onto different man-made substrates. Identifying the optimal substrate and appropriate source of bone cells will assist in preventing age-related osteoporotic bone fracture and encourage more rapid repair processes in other fractures.


Key Publications

Changes in bone mineral and matrix in response to a soft diet. Kingsmill VJ, Boyde A, Davis GR, Howell PG, Rawlinson SCF. J Dent Res. 2010 May;89(5):510-4.

Adult rat bones maintain distinct regionalized expression of markers associated with their development. Rawlinson SCF, McKay IJ, Ghuman M, Wellmann C, Ryan P, Prajaneh S, Zaman G, Hughes FJ, Kingsmill VJ. PLoS One. 2009 Dec 21;4(12):e8358.

Ovariectomy vs. hypofunction: their effects on rat mandibular bone. Rawlinson SCF, Boyde A, Davis GR, Howell PG, Hughes FJ, Kingsmill VJ. J Dent Res. 2009 Jul;88(7):615-20.

Genetic selection for fast growth generates bone architecture characterised by enhanced periosteal expansion and limited consolidation of the cortices but a diminution in the early responses to mechanical loading. Rawlinson SCF, Murray DH, Mosley JR, Wright CD, Bredl JC, Saxon LK, Loveridge N, Leterrier C, Constantin P, Farquharson C, Pitsillides AA. Bone. 2009 Aug;45(2):357-66.

Identifying the cellular basis for reimplantation failure in repair of the rotator cuff. Simon DW, Clarkin CE, Das-Gupta V, Rawlinson SCF, Emery RJ, Pitsillides AA. J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2008 May;90(5):680-4.

Non-invasive axial loading of mouse tibiae increases cortical bone formation and modifies trabecular organization: a new model to study cortical and cancellous compartments in a single loaded element. De Souza RL, Matsuura M, Eckstein F, Rawlinson SCF, Lanyon LE, Pitsillides AA. Bone. 2005 Dec;37(6):810-8.

Osteoblast-like cells from estrogen receptor alpha knockout mice have deficient responses to mechanical strain. Jessop HL, Suswillo RF, Rawlinson SCF, Zaman G, Lee K, Das-Gupta V, Pitsillides AA, Lanyon LE. J Bone Miner Res. 2004 Jun;19(6):938-46.

Mechanical strain and fluid movement both activate extracellular regulated kinase (ERK) in osteoblast-like cells but via different signaling pathways. Jessop HL, Rawlinson SCF, Pitsillides AA, Lanyon LE. Bone. 2002 Jul;31(1):186-94.

Human osteoblasts' proliferative responses to strain and 17beta-estradiol are mediated by the estrogen receptor and the receptor for insulin-like growth factor I. Cheng MZ, Rawlinson SCF, Pitsillides AA, Zaman G, Mohan S, Baylink DJ, Lanyon LE. J Bone Miner Res. 2002 Apr;17(4):593-602.

Arachidonic acid for loading induced prostacyclin and prostaglandin E(2) release from osteoblasts and osteocytes is derived from the activities of different forms of phospholipase A(2). Rawlinson SCF, Wheeler-Jones CP, Lanyon LE. Bone. 2000 Aug;27(2):241-7.

Mechanical strain stimulates ROS cell proliferation through IGF-II and estrogen through IGF-I. Cheng M, Zaman G, Rawlinson SCF, Mohan S, Baylink DJ, Lanyon LE. J Bone Miner Res. 1999 Oct;14(10):1742-50.

Mechanical strain stimulates nitric oxide production by rapid activation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase in osteocytes. Zaman G, Pitsillides AA, Rawlinson SCF, Suswillo RF, Mosley JR, Cheng MZ, Platts LA, Hukkanen M, Polak JM, Lanyon LE. J Bone Miner Res. 1999 Jul;14(7):1123-31.

Bone's early responses to mechanical loading differ in distinct genetic strains of chick: selection for enhanced growth reduces skeletal adaptability. Pitsillides AA, Rawlinson SCF, Mosley JR, Lanyon LE. J Bone Miner Res. 1999 Jun;14(6):980-7.

Heme oxygenase isozymes in bone: induction of HO-1 mRNA following physiological levels of mechanical loading in vivo. Rawlinson SCF, Zaman G, Mosley JR, Pitsillides AA, Lanyon LE. Bone. 1998 Nov;23(5):433-6.

Enhancement by sex hormones of the osteoregulatory effects of mechanical loading and prostaglandins in explants of rat ulnae. Cheng MZ, Zaman G, Rawlinson SCF, Pitsillides AA, Suswillo RF, Lanyon LE. J Bone Miner Res. 1997 Sep;12(9):1424-30.

Involvement of different ion channels in osteoblasts' and osteocytes' early responses to mechanical strain. Rawlinson SCF, Pitsillides AA, Lanyon LE. Bone. 1996 Dec;19(6):609-14.

Mechanical loading and sex hormone interactions in organ cultures of rat ulna. Cheng MZ, Zaman G, Rawlinson SCF, Suswillo RF, Lanyon LE. J Bone Miner Res. 1996 Apr;11(4):502-11.

Mechanical strain-induced NO production by bone cells: a possible role in adaptive bone (re)modeling? Pitsillides AA, Rawlinson SCF, Suswillo RF, Bourrin S, Zaman G, Lanyon LE. FASEB J. 1995 Dec;9(15):1614-22.

Calvarial and limb bone cells in organ and monolayer culture do not show the same early responses to dynamic mechanical strain. Rawlinson SCF, Mosley JR, Suswillo RF, Pitsillides AA, Lanyon LE. J Bone Miner Res. 1995 Aug;10(8):1225-32.

Exogenous prostacyclin, but not prostaglandin E2, produces similar responses in both G6PD activity and RNA production as mechanical loading, and increases IGF-II release, in adult cancellous bone in culture. Rawlinson SCF, Mohan S, Baylink DJ, Lanyon LE. Calcif Tissue Int. 1993 Nov;53(5):324-9.

Loading-related increases in prostaglandin production in cores of adult canine cancellous bone in vitro: a role for prostacyclin in adaptive bone remodeling? Rawlinson SCF, el-Haj AJ, Minter SL, Tavares IA, Bennett A, Lanyon LE. J Bone Miner Res. 1991 Dec;6(12):1345-51.

Cellular responses to mechanical loading in vitro. el Haj AJ, Minter SL, Rawlinson SCF, Suswillo R, Lanyon LE. J Bone Miner Res. 1990 Sep;5(9):923-32.

Methods for analyzing bone cell responses to mechanical loading using in vitro monolayer and organ culture models. Pitsillides AA, Das-Gupta V, Simon D, Rawlinson SCF. Methods Mol Med. 2003;80:399-422.

Using cell and organ culture models to analyze responses of bone cells to mechanical stimulation. Pitsillides AA, Rawlinson SCF. Methods Mol Biol. 2012;816:593-619.

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