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J Clin Periodontol. 2011 Jun;38(6):532-41. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-051X.2011.01714.x. Epub 2011 Mar 21.

Pre-existing periodontitis exacerbates experimental arthritis in a mouse model.

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  • 1Discipline of Anatomy and Pathology, School of Medical Sciences, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, Australia.



Previous studies have shown a higher incidence of alveolar bone loss in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and that patients with periodontitis are at a greater risk of developing RA. The aim of this study was to develop an animal model to assess the relationship between pre-existing periodontitis and experimental arthritis (EA).


Periodontitis was first induced in mice by oral gavage with Porphyromonas gingivalis followed by EA using the collagen antibody-induced arthritis model. These animals were compared with animals with periodontitis alone, EA alone and no disease (controls). Visual changes in paw swelling were assessed to determine clinical development of EA. Alveolar bone and joint changes were assessed using micro-CT, histological analyses and immunohistochemistry. Serum levels of C-reactive protein were used to monitor systemic inflammation.


Mice with pre-existing periodontitis developed more severe arthritis, which developed at a faster rate. Mice with periodontitis only also showed evidence of loss of bone within the radiocarpal joint. There was also evidence of alveolar bone loss in mice with EA alone.


The results of this study indicate that pre-existing periodontitis exacerbated experimental arthritis in a mouse model.

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