Topical application of lipopolysaccharide into gingival sulcus promotes periodontal destruction in rats immunized with lipopolysaccharide

J Periodontal Res. 2012 Oct;47(5):674-80. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0765.2012.01486.x. Epub 2012 May 14.


Background and objective: The causes of periodontitis are bacteria and the host immune system, but the role of the immune system in the onset and progression of periodontal disease is still unclear. Our previous report showed that the formation of an immune complex in the gingival sulcus induces periodontal destruction. This study was carried out to investigate how the immune system, particularly immunization, is involved in periodontal destruction.

Material and methods: Animals immunized intraperitoneally with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) were used as the immunized group. The nonimmunized group received only phosphate-buffered saline. LPS was applied daily onto the palatal gingival sulcus in both groups 1 d after the booster injection. Serum levels of anti-LPS IgG were determined. Loss of attachment and the level of alveolar bone were histopathologically and histometrically investigated. RANKL-bearing cells and the expression of C1qB were immunohistologically evaluated.

Results: The serum levels of anti-LPS IgG were elevated in the early experimental period in the immunized group. There were significant increases in loss of attachment, level of alveolar bone and the number of RANKL-bearing cells in the immunized group. C1qB was observed in the junctional epithelium and adjacent connective tissue. The nonimmunized group showed similar findings at and after the time when the serum level of anti-LPS IgG was elevated.

Conclusion: Topical application of LPS as an antigen induced periodontal destruction when the serum level of anti-LPS IgG was elevated in rats immunized with LPS. The presence of C1qB suggests that the formation of immune complexes is involved in this destruction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Alveolar Bone Loss / pathology
  • Animals
  • Antibodies / blood
  • Antigen-Antibody Complex / analysis
  • Antigen-Antibody Complex / immunology
  • Complement C1q / analysis
  • Connective Tissue / pathology
  • Epithelial Attachment / pathology
  • Escherichia coli*
  • Gingiva / immunology*
  • Gingiva / pathology
  • Immunization
  • Immunization, Secondary
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Injections, Intraperitoneal
  • Lipopolysaccharides / administration & dosage*
  • Lipopolysaccharides / immunology
  • Male
  • Neutrophils / immunology
  • Periodontal Attachment Loss / pathology
  • Periodontal Pocket / pathology
  • Periodontitis / immunology*
  • RANK Ligand / analysis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Lew


  • Antibodies
  • Antigen-Antibody Complex
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • RANK Ligand
  • Complement C1q