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Am J Pathol. 2011 Aug;179(2):819-28. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2011.05.003. Epub 2011 Jun 2.

Plasmin is essential in preventing periodontitis in mice.

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1
Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.

Abstract

Periodontitis involves bacterial infection, inflammation of the periodontium, degradation of gum tissue, and alveolar bone resorption, which eventually leads to loss of teeth. To study the role of the broad-spectrum protease plasmin in periodontitis, we examined the oral health of plasminogen (Plg)-deficient mice. In wild-type mice, the periodontium was unaffected at all time points studied; in Plg-deficient mice, periodontitis progressed rapidly, within 20 weeks. Morphological study results of Plg-deficient mice revealed detachment of gingival tissue, resorption of the cementum layer, formation of necrotic tissue, and severe alveolar bone degradation. IHC staining showed massive infiltration of neutrophils in the periodontal tissues. Interestingly, doubly deficient mice, lacking both tissue- and urokinase-type plasminogen activators, developed periodontal disease similar to that in Plg-deficient mice; however, mice lacking only tissue- or urokinase-type plasminogen activator remained healthy. Supplementation by injection of Plg-deficient mice with human plasminogen for 10 days led to necrotic tissue absorption, inflammation subsidence, and full regeneration of gum tissues. Notably, there was also partial regrowth of degraded alveolar bone. Taken together, our results show that plasminogen is essential for the maintenance of a healthy periodontium and plays an important role in combating the spontaneous development of chronic periodontitis. Moreover, reversal to healthy status after supplementation of Plg-deficient mice with plasminogen suggests the possibility of using plasminogen for therapy of periodontal diseases.

PMID:
21704601
PMCID:
PMC3157224
DOI:
10.1016/j.ajpath.2011.05.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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