Inhibition of pre-existing natural periodontitis in non-human primates by a locally administered peptide inhibitor of complement C3

J Clin Periodontol. 2016 Mar;43(3):238-49. doi: 10.1111/jcpe.12507. Epub 2016 Mar 3.


Aim: Human periodontitis is associated with overactivation of complement, which is triggered by different mechanisms converging on C3, the central hub of the system. We assessed whether the C3 inhibitor Cp40 inhibits naturally occurring periodontitis in non-human primates (NHPs).

Materials and methods: Non-human primates with chronic periodontitis were intra-gingivally injected with Cp40 either once (5 animals) or three times (10 animals) weekly for 6 weeks followed by a 6-week follow-up period. Clinical periodontal examinations and collection of gingival crevicular fluid and biopsies of gingiva and bone were performed at baseline and during the study. A one-way repeated-measures anova was used for data analysis.

Results: Whether administered once or three times weekly, Cp40 caused a significant reduction in clinical indices that measure periodontal inflammation (gingival index and bleeding on probing), tissue destruction (probing pocket depth and clinical attachment level) or tooth mobility. These clinical changes were associated with significantly reduced levels of pro-inflammatory mediators and decreased numbers of osteoclasts in bone biopsies. The protective effects of Cp40 persisted, albeit at reduced efficacy, for at least 6 weeks following drug discontinuation.

Conclusion: Cp40 inhibits pre-existing chronic periodontal inflammation and osteoclastogenesis in NHPs, suggesting a novel adjunctive anti-inflammatory therapy for treating human periodontitis.

Keywords: complement; compstatin; cytokines; inflammation; non-human primates; periodontitis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Complement C3
  • Gingival Crevicular Fluid
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Male
  • Peptides
  • Periodontal Attachment Loss / drug therapy
  • Periodontal Index
  • Periodontal Pocket / drug therapy
  • Periodontitis / drug therapy*


  • Complement C3
  • Peptides