Cellular and collagen reference values of gingival and periodontal ligament tissues in rats: a pilot study

  • Antoine Alves
  • Nina AttikEmail author
  • Carine Wirth
  • Yves Bayon
  • Alexis Piat
  • Brigitte Grosgogeat
  • Kerstin Gritsch
Original Paper


Reference data are lacking on the periodontal ligament and the gingival tissue of the rat model, which would be useful for studies of new medical or biomaterial periodontal treatments. The objective of the current study was to propose cellular and collagen reference values of gingival and periodontal ligament tissues in rat, using a simple and reliable quantitative method after decalcification. Mandibular samples of ten adult Sprague–Dawley rats were used. Mild decalcification was carried out using ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) to preserve the morphology of tissues. Half of the samples were decalcified and the other half were not. The gingiva and the periodontal ligament were analyzed. Descriptive histology and computer-assisted image analysis were performed. The data showed that qualitatively, cellular and extracellular matrix morphologies were well preserved compared to non-decalcified periodontal soft tissue biopsies. Histomorphometrically, constitutive cellularity and the total amount of native collagen, collagen directionality and collagen anisotropy in both experimental conditions did not significantly differ. Taken together, these results suggested that EDTA decalcification did not negatively affect the studied endpoints. Moreover, this mild decalcification method allowed in situ maintenance of the periodontal soft and hard tissue integrity. The structural and compositional computerized assessment performed in the healthy periodontal soft tissue could provide reference values that will be required for future assessment on the effects of pathological, reparative and regenerative processes in rat periodontal soft tissues.


Periodontal soft tissue Histomorphometric analysis Cellularity Collagen EDTA decalcification Anisotropy Directionality 



This work was partly financially supported by the Fonds unique interministériel (FUI No AAP:15-Project No F1312025 V) within the REVAMED (Régénération et Evaluation des Dispositifs Médicaux) project. The experimental rats have been obtained from a collaborative study performed with the partnership of Institut Bourgelat (Marcy l’Etoile, France). The authors gratefully acknowledge Dr. Elodie Devron Gaillot, Pathologist, for reviewing the slides as independent reader and Mr. Paul Bonijol, Engineer, for his contribution in the adaptation of part of the algorithms of this project.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest, financial or otherwise regarding the publication of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antoine Alves
    • 1
    • 2
  • Nina Attik
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Carine Wirth
    • 1
  • Yves Bayon
    • 4
  • Alexis Piat
    • 5
  • Brigitte Grosgogeat
    • 2
    • 3
    • 6
  • Kerstin Gritsch
    • 2
    • 3
    • 6
  1. 1.NAMSAChasse-sur-RhôneFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire des Multimatériaux et InterfacesUniversité de Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, UMR CNRS 5615VilleurbanneFrance
  3. 3.Faculté d’OdontologieUniversité de Lyon, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1LyonFrance
  4. 4.Medtronic—Sofradim ProductionTrévouxFrance
  5. 5.Département BiosciencesINSAVilleurbanneFrance
  6. 6.Service de Consultations et de Traitements DentairesHospices Civils de LyonLyonFrance

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