Evaluation of the progression and treatment of experimental periodontitis in rats subjected to chemotherapy with 5-fluorouracil



This study aimed to evaluate the progression and treatment of experimental periodontitis (EP) in rats treated with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU).

Materials and methods

One-hundred fifty rats were divided into groups: C—control, EP—EP induction, EP/scaling and root planing (SRP)—EP induction and SRP, 5-FU—systemic treatment with 5-FU, 5-FU/EP—systemic treatment with 5-FU and EP induction, and 5-FU/EP/SRP—systemic treatment with 5-FU, EP induction and SRP. Systemic treatment consisted of the administration of 80 and 40 mg/kg of 5-FU. The animals were euthanised at 7, 15 and 30 days. Histological and immunohistochemical analyses for the detection of the receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa B ligand (RANKL), osteoprotegerin (OPG) and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) were performed at the furcation region. A histometric analysis was performed to evaluate the percentage of bone in the furcation region (PBF).


In the 5-FU/EP and 5-FU/EP/SRP groups, there was less PBF, greater breakdown of periodontal tissues and increased immunostaining for RANKL compared with the EP and EP/SRP groups.


It can be concluded that 5-FU aggravates PE progression, impairs the host response to SRP mechanical therapy and does not seem to cause changes in the healthy periodontium.

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We thank the Brazilian Federal Agency for the Support and Evaluation of Graduate Education (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior—CAPES) for the scholarship and the São Paulo State Research Foundation (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo—FAPESP) for the assistance in the development of this research (FAPESP 2011/03021-3).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

Source of funding

The present study was conducted in the Periodontics Division (Department of Surgery and Integrated Clinic of Araçatuba Dental School—UNESP) supported by São Paulo State Research Foundation (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo—FAPESP 2011/03021-3).

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Valdir Gouveia Garcia.

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Fig. A1

(a): Graph showing the total number of leukocytes in the blood in each experimental group on the day of ligature placement (day -7) and 7 days later (day 0). (b): Graph showing the number of neutrophils in the blood in each experimental group on the day of ligature placement (day -7) and 7 days later (day 0). Day 0 corresponds to the day when the ligature was removed and is the day from which the periods of euthanasia (7, 15 and 30 days) were established. Symbols: §, difference in the numbers of total leukocytes and neutrophils (p < 0.05) between the day of ligature placement (day -7) and 7 days later (day 0). Statistical test: Student’s t-test. (GIF 91 kb)

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Garcia, V.G., Novaes, V.C.N., de Almeida, J.M. et al. Evaluation of the progression and treatment of experimental periodontitis in rats subjected to chemotherapy with 5-fluorouracil. Support Care Cancer 23, 2007–2017 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00520-014-2563-y

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  • Periodontitis
  • Rats
  • Bone resorption
  • Antineoplastic agents
  • Fluorouracil