Periodontitis is a prevalent chronic inflammatory disease associated with dysbiosis. Although complement inhibition has been successfully used to treat periodontitis in animal models, studies globally analyzing inflamed tissue proteins to glean insight into possible mechanisms of action are missing. Using quantitative shotgun proteomics, we aimed to investigate differences in composition of inflammatory gingival tissue exudate ("gingival crevicular fluid"; GCF), before and after local administration of an inhibitor of the central complement component, C3, in nonhuman primates. The C3 inhibitor, Cp40 (also known as AMY-101) was administered locally in the maxillary gingival tissue of cynomolgus monkeys with established periodontitis, either once a week (1×-treatment; n = 5 animals) or three times per week (3×-treatment; n = 10 animals), for 6 weeks followed by another 6 weeks of observation in the absence of treatment. 45 GCF samples were processed for FASP digestion and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis. Data were processed using the ProgenesisQI software. The statistical significance of differences between the groups was determined by RM-ANOVA, and a protein expression change was considered as a true regulation at >2-fold and p < 0.05. The human orthologues were subjected to Gene Ontology analyses using PANTHER. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD009502. 573 proteins with >2 peptides were longitudinally quantified. Both 3× and 1× administration of Cp40 resulted in significant down-regulation of dozens of proteins during the 6-week course of treatment as compared to baseline. Following drug withdrawal at 6 weeks, more than 50% of the down-regulated proteins showed increased levels at week 12. The top scored pathway was "complement activation, alternative pathway", and several proteins involved in this pathway were down-regulated at 6 weeks. We mapped the proteomic fingerprint changes in local tissue exudate of cynomolgus monkey periodontitis in response to C3 inhibition and identified the alternative pathway of complement activation and leukocyte degranulation as main targets, which are thus likely to play significant roles in periodontal disease pathogenesis. Label-free quantitative proteomics strategies utilizing GCF are powerful tools for the identification of treatment targets and providing insights into disease mechanisms.
Keywords: Cp40; GCF; alternative complement pathway; complement; gingival crevicular fluid; gingival inflammation; label-free quantitation; periodontitis; primates; proteome.