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J Periodontol. 2017 Feb;88(2):e49-e57. doi: 10.1902/jop.2016.160392. Epub 2016 Sep 26.

Decrease of Pericytes is Associated With Liver Disease Caused by Ligature-Induced Periodontitis in Rats.

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Department of Biomedicine, Laboratory of Histological Analysis and Preparation, Federal University of Piaui, Parnaiba, Brazil.
Department of Biomedicine, Laboratory of Biology and Biochemistry Plants, Federal University of Piaui.
Department of Morphology, Division of Histology, Piracicaba Dental School, State University of Campinas, Piracicaba, Brazil.
Department of Biology, Laboratory of Experimental Physiopharmacology, Federal University of Piaui.
Department of Nephrology and Dialysis, Division of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Center Rijeka, Rijeka, Croatia.
Department of Internal Medicine, Yale Cardiovascular Research Center, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.



Damage caused by periodontitis not only affects periodontal tissues, but also increases the severity of various illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and liver diseases. The aim of this study is to investigate the association between induced periodontitis and damage caused through its systemic effects on the liver.


Twenty rats were divided into two groups: control and periodontitis. The following parameters were evaluated: gingival bleeding index (GBI), probing depth (PD), myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity, alveolar bone loss (ABL) for periodontal tissues; histopathologic examination of gingival and liver tissues; immunohistochemistry to cells positive for neural/glial antigen 2 (NG2) expressed in hepatic pericytes, glutathione (GSH), and malondialdehyde (MDA) concentrations in liver; and serum levels of alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase.


GBI, PD, MPO, ABL, and histopathologic examinations demonstrated the development of periodontitis. There was a significant increase in microvesicular steatosis accompanied by a marked reduction in NG2+ pericytes in the periodontitis group compared with the control group. The periodontitis group had significantly lower GSH and higher MDA concentration in the liver compared with the control group.


The present study results link the systemic effects of induced periodontitis with changes in hepatic tissues such as microvesicular steatosis, likely caused by an increase in oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation. The findings from the present study implicate an association between a decrease of pericytes and liver disease caused by ligature-induced periodontitis in rats.


Fatty Liver; histology; non-alcoholic fatty liver; oral medicine; oxidative stress; risk factors

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