Enhanced alveolar bone loss in a model of non-invasive periodontitis in rice rats

J. I. Aguirre, M. P. Akhter, D. B. Kimmel, J. Pingel, X. Xia, A. Williams, M. Jorgensen, K. Edmonds, J. Y. Lee, M. K. Reinhard, A. H. Battles, L. Kesavalu, T. J. Wronski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Objective: The rice rat (Oryzomys palustris) develops periodontitis-like lesions when fed a diet rich in sucrose and casein (H-SC). We aimed to establish whether this model can accurately mimic the development of human periodontitis. Materials and Methods: For this purpose, 28-day-old rice rats (15/group) were assigned to standard (STD) or H-SC diets and sacrificed after 6, 12, and 18weeks. Jaws were processed for morphometric, histometric, histologic, histomorphometric, and micro-CT analyses. Results: We found a progressive increase in horizontal alveolar bone loss (ABL) with age in maxillae of rats fed the STD diet as determined by morphometry. The H-SC diet exacerbated horizontal ABL at the palatal surface at 12 and 18weeks. Furthermore, increased vertical ABL was detected in mandibles and maxillae of rats fed the H-SC diet for 12 and/or 18weeks by histometry and micro-CT. Remarkably, the H-SC diet significantly increased bone remodeling at the interproximal alveolar bone of mandibles from rats fed for 6weeks, but not in those fed for longer periods. Conclusions: These findings indicate that the H-SC diet induced a transient increase in alveolar bone remodeling, which is followed by ABL characteristic of moderate periodontitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-468
Number of pages10
JournalOral Diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Dentistry(all)


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