Background and objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the morphometric and histopathological changes associated with experimental periodontitis in diabetic rats in response to systemic administration of N-acetylcysteine (NAC), a sulfhydryl-containing thiol antioxidant.
Material and methods: Sixty Wistar rats were divided into six experimental groups: nonligated (NL) group; ligature-only (L) group; streptozotocin-only (STZ) group; STZ and ligature (STZ + L) group; and systemic administration of NAC and ligature (70 and 100 mg/kg body weight per day, respectively) (NAC70 and NAC100 groups). Diabetes mellitus was induced by 60 mg/kg of streptozotocin. Silk ligatures were placed at the gingival margin of the lower first molars of the mandibular quadrant. The study duration was 30 d and the animals were killed at the end of this period. Changes in alveolar bone levels were clinically measured and tissues were histopathologically examined to assess the differences among the study groups.
Results: At the end of the 30-d study period, alveolar bone loss was significantly higher in the STZ + L group compared with the other groups (p < 0.05). Also, alveolar bone loss in all the NAC groups was significantly lower than in the STZ + L and L groups (p < 0.05). The osteoblastic activity in the NAC100 group was significantly higher than in the other groups (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: Within the limits of this study, it can be suggested that NAC, when administered systemically, prevents alveolar bone loss in the diabetic rat model.
© 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.