Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
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.

Author information

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


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center