Evolution of Periodontal Disease: Immune Response and RANK/RANKL/OPG System

<div><p>Abstract The aim of this study was to evaluate markers of bone loss and immune response present in evolution of periodontal disease. One hundred and two Wistar rats were divided into three animals groups: PD0, without ligation and PD15 days and PD60 days, submitted to ligation placement with a sterile 3-0 silk cord in the cervical region of the upper first molar on both sides. Samples were obtained from the gingival tissue for histomorphometric analysis, immunohistochemical analysis of RANK, RANKL, OPG, characterization of the inflammatory infiltrate, quantification of nitric oxide, MCP-1, RANTES, IP10 chemokines, and expression of the TGF-b1, VEG, and bFGF. The number of inflammatory cells in gingival tissue was higher in PD60 samples. The collagen content and the area occupied by birefringent collagen fibers were lower for PD60. Differential leukocyte counting showed that there was a significantly higher polymorphonuclear influx in group PD15, while PD60 showed a greater number of lymphocytes. PD60 showed higher RANTES, IP-10, MCP-1 gene transcripts, as well as a higher nitric oxide concentration. Clinical evaluation revealed that the PD60 group presented an increase in furcal area. In conclusion, in this animal model the increase of RANK/RANKL and HGF markers is related to a specific immune response, and probably contributed to the evolution of periodontal disease. Investigating the effect of these biomarkers can help in targeted therapy for bone resorption, since blocking these can inhibit bone loss.</p></div>