Reduction of Infection-stimulated Periapical Bone Resorption by the Biological Response Modifier PGG Glucan

P. Stashenko, C. Y. Wang, E. Riley, Y. Wu, R. Niederman, G. Ostroff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Pulpal and periodontal diseases are bacterial infections which result in local connective tissue and bone destruction. Effective host resistance to these infections is primarily mediated by neutrophils and other phagocytic cells. PGG glucan (poly-β1-6-glucotriosyl-β1-3-glucopyranose glucan) is a biological response modifier which stimulates the production of neutrophils and upregulates their phagocytic and bactericidal activity. In the present studies, the effect of PGG glucan on infection-stimulated alveolar bone resorption was tested in an in vivo model. Periapical bone resorption was induced in Sprague-Dawley rats by surgical pulp exposure and subsequent infection from the oral environment. Animals were administered PGG glucan (0.5 mg/kg) or saline (control) subcutaneously the day before and on days 2, 4, 6, 9, 11, 13, 16, and 18 following the pulp exposure procedure. PGG glucan enhanced the number of circulating neutrophils and monocytes and increased neutrophil phagocytic activity approximately two-fold. PGG glucan-treated animals had significantly less infection-stimulated periapical bone resorption than control animals, as determined radiographically (-48.0%; p < 0.001) and by histomorphometry (-40.8% and -42.4% for first and second molars, respectively; p < 0.01). PGG glucan-treated animals also had less soft tissue destruction, as indicated by decreased pulpal necrosis. Only 3.3% of first molar pulps from PGG glucan-treated animals exhibited complete necrosis, as compared with 40.6% of pulps from controls. Finally, PGG glucan had no effect on either PTH- or IL-1-stimulated bone resorption in vitro. These findings support the concept that a biological response modifier which enhances endogenous antibacterial mechanisms in neutrophils can decrease infection-stimulated alveolar bone and soft tissue destruction in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-330
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of dental research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1995


  • bacterial infection
  • bone resorption
  • immunomodulator
  • leukocytes
  • periapical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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