Assessment of vascular endothelial growth factor and matrix metalloproteinase-9 in the periodontium of rats treated with atorvastatin

J Periodontol. 2014 Jan;85(1):178-87. doi: 10.1902/jop.2013.130018. Epub 2013 May 7.


Background: The aim of this study is to examine, for the first time, the role of systemic and local atorvastatin application on periodontium using histomorphometric and immunohistochemical analysis during and after experimental periodontitis induction with or without the presence of microbial dental biofilm.

Methods: One hundred ten male Wistar rats were used. Silk ligatures were placed around the cervical area of the mandibular first molars; rats in the healthy control group received no ligatures (n = 10). In experimental periodontitis groups (n = 90), systemic and local atorvastatin and saline were administered in three different periods; the control periodontitis group (n = 10) received no treatment. Histomorphometric analysis, which included alveolar bone area, alveolar bone level, and attachment loss, and immunohistochemical analysis, which included immunoreactivity of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9, were performed after the rats were sacrificed at the end of the experimental procedure.

Results: There was a greater increase in alveolar bone area and VEGF immunoreactivity, as well as a greater decrease in alveolar bone and attachment loss and MMP-9 immunoreactivity, with systemic and local atorvastatin application during and after induction of experimental periodontitis. Local atorvastatin application showed better results on periodontium with regard to alveolar bone findings.

Conclusions: Systemic and local atorvastatin application showed beneficial effects on periodontium during and after induction of experimental periodontitis. Within the limits of this study, it can be concluded that atorvastatin, which is used for hypercholesterolemia treatment, can also be used as a protective and therapeutic agent for periodontal disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Administration, Topical
  • Alveolar Bone Loss / drug therapy
  • Alveolar Bone Loss / prevention & control
  • Alveolar Process / drug effects
  • Alveolar Process / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Atorvastatin
  • Heptanoic Acids / administration & dosage
  • Heptanoic Acids / therapeutic use*
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Male
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / analysis*
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 / drug effects
  • Periodontal Attachment Loss / drug therapy
  • Periodontal Attachment Loss / prevention & control
  • Periodontal Ligament / drug effects
  • Periodontal Ligament / metabolism
  • Periodontitis / drug therapy*
  • Periodontitis / prevention & control
  • Protective Agents / administration & dosage
  • Protective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Pyrroles / administration & dosage
  • Pyrroles / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / analysis*
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / drug effects


  • Heptanoic Acids
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Protective Agents
  • Pyrroles
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • vascular endothelial growth factor A, rat
  • Atorvastatin
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9
  • Mmp9 protein, rat