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Indian J Pharmacol. 2012 Mar;44(2):161-7. doi: 10.4103/0253-7613.93841.

Chemically modified tetracyclines: Novel therapeutic agents in the management of chronic periodontitis.

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Department of Periodontics, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka, India.


Chronic periodontitis is a complex infection initiated by gram-negative bacteria which destroy the supporting structures of the tooth. Recently, it has been recognized that it is the host response to bacterial infection which causes greater destruction of the connective tissue elements, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone in periodontitis. This has led to the development of various host modulating approaches to target cells and their destructive mediators involved in tissue degradation. Chemically modified tetracyclines (CMTs) are derivatives of tetracycline group of drugs which lack antimicrobial action but have potent host modulating affects. They inhibit pathologically elevated matrix metal loproteinases, pro-inflammtory cytokines and other destructive mediators. Bone resorption is also suppressed due to their combined anti-proteinase and apoptotic affects on osteoblasts and osteoclasts, respectively. Development of resistant bacteria and gastrointestinal toxicity seen with parent tetracyclines is not produced by CMTs. Hence, CMTs are viewed as potential therapeutic agents in the management of chronic diseases like periodontitis that involve destruction of connective tissue and bone.


Chemically modified tetracyclines; host modulation; host response; periodontitis

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