Journal of translational medicine

Simvastatin prevents alveolar bone loss in an experimental rat model of periodontitis after ovariectomy.

PMID 25269614


Periodontitis is an inflammatory disease characterized by the loss of connective tissue and alveolar bone. There is an increasing evidence that periodontitis is associated with a number of chronic disease, including osteoporosis. Periodontitis and osteoporosis are both bone destructive diseases and of high prevalence in adult population. Osteoporosis could increase some inflammatory factors that also participate in the progression of periodontitis, so as to facilitate the alveolar bone resorption. Simvastatin, specific inhibitor of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme reductase, is of pleiotropic effects including anti-catabolic and anabolic effect on bone metabolism. This study aimed to explore the local and systemic effect of simvastatin on maxillary in rats with both osteoporosis and periodontitis. Thirty-six 4-month-old female Sprague Dawley rats were randomly assigned to six groups: sham group, ligature group, ovariectomized (OVX) + ligature group, local simvastatin administration to OVX + ligature rats (local simvastatin group), oral simvastatin administration to OVX + ligature rats (oral simvastatin group), local and oral simvastatin administration to OVX + ligature rats (L&O simvastatin group). One month after OVX, ligatures were placed on the maxillary first (M1) and second molars (M2) for 4xa0weeks on all rats except those in the sham group, followed by simvastatin treatment for 2xa0months. The maxillae, serum, and femurs were collected for further examination including micro-computed (micro-CT) tomography, hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining, tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) staining, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA), and the three-point bending test. Local simvastatin administration increased alveolar crest height and prevented local alveolar bone loss without alteration of systemic bone loss. Oral administration prevented local and systemic bone loss with no effect on alveolar crest height. Our results indicate that simvastatin has the potential of promoting bone formation and reducing alveolar bone loss in maxillary following ovariectomy (OVX) and ligature placement in rats.