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.