Sclerostin antibody treatment causes greater alveolar crest height and bone mass in an ovariectomized rat model of localized periodontitis


Hui Chen, Xinchen Xu, Min Liu, Wen Zhang, Hua-zhu Ke, An Qin, Tingting Tang, Eryi Lu


Introduction Periodontitis and osteoporosis are bone destructive diseases with a high prevalence in the adult population. The concomitant presence of osteoporosis may be a risk factor of progression of periodontal destruction. We studied the effect of sclerostin-neutralizing monoclonal antibody (Scl-Ab) on alveolar bone endpoints in an ovariectomized (OVX) rat model of induced experimental periodontitis.

Methods Sixty female, 4-month-old Sprague–Dawley rats underwent sham operation or bilateral OVX and were left untreated for 2 months. Experimental periodontitis (ligature) was established by placing silk sutures subgingival to the right maxillary first and second molar teeth for 4 weeks, and feeding the rats food and high-sugar drinking water during this period. Thereafter, ligatures were removed and 25 mg/kg vehicle or Scl-Ab was administered subcutaneously twice weekly for 6 weeks. Rats were randomized into four groups: (1) Control (Sham + Vehicle), (2) Sham + Ligature + Vehicle, (3) OVX + Ligature + Vehicle, and (4) OVX + Ligature + Scl-Ab. Terminal blood and right maxilla specimens were collected for analyses.

Results Group 3 rats showed lower bone volume fraction (BVF) of alveolar bone with higher bone resorption and lower bone formation than Group 2 rats. Group 4 rats had higher alveolar crest height, as assessed by linear distance of cementoenamel junction to the alveolar bone crest and greater alveolar bone mass using Micro CT, than Group 3 rats. Significantly higher values of mineral apposition rate (MAR) and mineralizing surface/bone surface (MS/BS) were also observed in Group 4 rats by analyzing polychrome sequential labeling data. Increased serum osteocalcin and osteoprotegerin, and deceased serum tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase and CTx-1 illustrate the ability of Scl-Ab to increase alveolar bone mass by enhancing bone formation and decreasing bone resorption in an animal model of estrogen deficiency osteopenia plus periodontitis.

Conclusion Scl-Ab could be a potential bone anabolic agent for improving alveolar crest height and higher alveolar bone mass in conditions where alveolar bone loss in periodontitis is compounded by estrogen deficiency osteopenia.

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