Inhibition of alveolar bone loss by matrix metalloproteinase inhibitors in experimental periodontal disease

Nungavaram S. Ramamurthy, Jing Wen Xu, John Bird, Andrew Baxter, Ranjev Bhogal, Ruth Wills, Bob Watson, David Owen, Mark Wolff, Robert A. Greenwald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Periodontal disease is characterized by excessive host collagenase resulting in loss of gingival and periodontal ligament collagen and adjacent alveolar bone. Intragingival endotoxin injection induces a model of periodontal disease characterized by rapid bone loss with biochemical features similar to that of naturally occurring adult periodontitis. CH1766, a peptide with a zinc binding moeity which fits into the active site of the enzyme, and CH6631, a hydroxamic acid derivative with aryl-substituted sulphonamide residues, are inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPIs) with differing inhibitory profiles as characterized by in vitro assays. In this study, endotoxin was injected into the gingivae of rats which were then treated orally with either 3 mg/kg or 30 mg/kg of one of the two inhibitory compounds. The gingival tissues were assessed for collagenase and gelatinase activity, plus three different pro-inflammatory cytokines. In addition, alveolar bone height in defleshed jaws was studied by computerized morphometric analysis and scanning electron microscopy. Both drugs reduced active and or total MMP activity, in many cases to normal, and also partially normalized cytokine levels as well. A dose-response effect was seen with regard to amelioration of lipopolysaccharide-induced alveolar bone loss with both drugs. Other than studies with tetracyclines, this is the first report of beneficial effects of MMPIs in a model of periodontal disease, strongly suggesting that this class of agents could bring therapeutic benefit to patients with this disorder, and that periodontal disease can be used as a model to demonstrate in vivo efficacy of this class of drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Periodontal Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2002


  • Alveolar bone
  • Collagenase
  • Cytokine
  • Matrix metalloproteinase
  • Periodontal disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics


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