Vitamin C intake inhibits serum lipid peroxidation and osteoclast differentiation on alveolar bone in rats fed on a high-cholesterol diet

Arch Oral Biol. 2009 Mar;54(3):235-40. doi: 10.1016/j.archoralbio.2008.11.001. Epub 2008 Dec 24.


Objective: A high-cholesterol diet stimulates osteoclast differentiation, which may be induced by increased serum lipid peroxidation. The inhibition of serum lipid peroxidation by vitamin C may offer beneficial effects on osteoclast differentiation including increased expression of receptor activator of nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB ligand (RANKL) and NF-kappaB. This study investigated the effects of vitamin C intake on RANKL and NF-kappaB expression in periodontal tissue of rats fed a high-cholesterol diet.

Design: Twenty-four rats (8 weeks old) were divided into four groups: a control group (fed a regular diet) and three experimental groups (fed a high-cholesterol diet supplemented with 0, 1 and 2 g/l vitamin C/day) in this 12-week study. Vitamin C was provided by its addition to drinking water. As an index of serum lipid peroxidation, hexanoyl-lysine (HEL) level was determined by a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method. Immunohistological analysis was performed to evaluate RANKL and NF-kappaB expression on the alveolar bone surface. The number of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP)-positive osteoclasts was also counted.

Results: Feeding a high-cholesterol diet increased not only the serum HEL level but also the number of TRAP-positive osteoclasts on the alveolar bone surface, with an increase in RANKL and NF-kappaB expression on alveolar bone surface. Intake of vitamin C reduced the serum HEL level and osteoclast differentiation, with decreasing RANKL and NF-kappaB expression.

Conclusions: Vitamin C intake could suppress osteoclast differentiation, including RANKL and NF-kappaB expression on the alveolar bone surface, by decreasing serum lipid peroxidation in rats fed a high-cholesterol diet.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cholesterol, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • Lipid Peroxidation / drug effects*
  • Male
  • NF-kappa B / blood*
  • Osteoclasts / cytology
  • Osteoclasts / drug effects*
  • Osteoclasts / metabolism
  • RANK Ligand / blood*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar


  • Antioxidants
  • Cholesterol, Dietary
  • NF-kappa B
  • RANK Ligand
  • Ascorbic Acid