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Dynamic microstructural changes in alveolar bone in ligature‐induced experimental periodontitis

  • Ya-Hsin Wu
  • Yuji Taya
  • Ryutaro Kuraji
  • Hiroshi Ito
  • Yuuichi Soeno
  • Yukihiro NumabeEmail author
Original Article


Periodontitis is an inflammatory disease that causes bone resorption. This study used a ligature‐induced experimental periodontitis model to observe the kinetic process of microstructural changes in alveolar bone and introduced star volume analysis as a new methodology to assess microstructural changes. Thirty Wistar rats were used. To induce experimental periodontitis, ligatures were placed around the maxillary first molar. Rats were euthanized on days 0, 1, 3, 7, 14, and 28 after ligature placement. In addition to using hematoxylin and eosin staining, tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP)/alkaline phosphatase (ALP) double staining, and micro-computed tomography were performed to analyze bone remodeling. From day 0 to day 7 (initiation phase), the model showed predominant inflammation with increased numbers of TRAP-positive cells, while ALP expression decreased. In contrast, from day 14 to day 28 (resolution phase), inflammatory cells and TRAP-positive cells decreased, whereas ALP expression recovered to levels comparable to that on day 0. Regarding microstructure parameters, in the initiation phase, bone volume fraction, bone mineral density, trabecular thickness, and star volume of the trabeculae decreased significantly, whereas trabecular separation and star volume of the marrow space increased significantly, indicating bone resorption. In the resolution phase, microstructure parameters normalized, indicated bone formation. We confirmed dynamic alveolar bone remodeling in ligature-induced periodontitis in rats. Furthermore, we assessed the potential for using star volume analysis as a sensitive new tool to clarify microstructural changes to alveolar bone in this model.


Experimental periodontitis Bone microstructure Micro-computed tomography evaluation Bone remodeling Alveolar bone loss 



The authors would like to thank Dr Nobuhito Nango, Chairman of Ratoc System Engineering, for providing helpful comments.


This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Supplementary material

10266_2019_471_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.8 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 1800 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Society of The Nippon Dental University 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ya-Hsin Wu
    • 1
  • Yuji Taya
    • 2
  • Ryutaro Kuraji
    • 1
    • 3
  • Hiroshi Ito
    • 1
  • Yuuichi Soeno
    • 2
  • Yukihiro Numabe
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of PeriodontologyThe Nippon Dental University School of Life Dentistry at TokyoTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of PathologyThe Nippon Dental University School of Life Dentistry at TokyoTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Department of Life Science DentistryThe Nippon Dental UniversityTokyoJapan

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