Indexed on: 05 Mar '10Published on: 05 Mar '10Published in: Journal of dental research
Periodontitis is characterized by periodontal tissue destruction, including the alveolar bone. One of its critical components is the release of pro-inflammatory neuropeptides from sensory nerve endings innervating the periodontium. Since nerve growth factor (NGF) has been reported to up-regulate neuropeptides in sensory neurons, we hypothesized that it would be increased in ligature-induced periodontitis in rats, and that systemic NGF neutralization would reduce the periodontitis-associated alveolar bone resorption. Real-time PCR analysis disclosed a statistically significant time-dependent up-regulation of NGF mRNA in gingiva during 2 weeks of periodontitis. Interestingly, NGF up-regulation was also detected in the contralateral gingiva. In addition, immunohistochemistry of trigeminal ganglion neurons innervating the gingivomucosa demonstrated increased expression of TrkA receptor for NGF. Systemic anti-NGF treatment during periodontitis significantly reduced interleukin-1beta expression in gingiva and bilateral alveolar bone resorption. This suggests that NGF promotes periodontal inflammation and implicates a possible use of anti-NGF treatment in periodontitis.